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Youngest Subban providing reason for excitement in Vancouver

What do most NHL GM’s covet? World class goaltending, Top flight centers & right shot puck moving defenders, and the Vancouver Canucks could have lucked out on one member of the Subban hockey family that is just scratching the surface of his potential. Defender and youngest brother Jordan is starting to look like a steal from the fourth round at 115 overall in the 2013 draft. He may be turning himself into not only THE top prospect on the Canucks backend, but one of the top three or four prospects in the entire system. Although not blessed with size when listed at 5’9 and 185 lbs, strength and athleticism clearly run in the family. Fan’s often look for the flashy prospects with eyes on immediate results and are quick to throw out the “bust” label if NHL success isn’t closely followed by draft year. Looking at a prospect like this is a great example of scouting ‘Progress’ and not just ‘Success’. Looking at the tendencies that a player exhibits in game to create success is important, you want watch a player develop habits that will translate to playing a pro style game. Jordan Subban’s habits aren’t very far off and frankly, Canucks fans should be excited.  

NHL: SEP 23 Preseason - Sharks at CanucksHis ability to battle bigger larger players is evident, angling off while gaining body position has become a skill built into Subban’s game, and is now being used effectively in the defensive zone. That coupled with his quick stick work, he becomes adapt at creating efficient turnovers that quickly switch the direction of play to the opponents end. Decision making with the puck on his stick is fast and efficient after gaining possession, utilizing a heads up skating style in the mold of Drew Doughty or Anton Stralman. He exhibits an ability the read the ice and react to opponents positioning when skating on the rush, and is excellent at assessing the neutral zone with speed and formulating a quick plan of attack.

Part of the elusiveness in his game comes from strong edge work and balance, appears to hold tight edge, stemming from a strong lower body, allowing for good east/west movement under speed. He has an explosive shot that comes from a short windup (unlike the high sweep of brother PK) with a deadly accuracy for the upper part of the net. Shifty movements aid in creating small openings for shooting lanes, offence is not stationary making him a difficult player to defend although can be slightly over-active at times. Without an above average hockey sense it would difficult to see a undersized player like this skating regularly in the pros, thinking ahead contributes greatly to Subban’s success, with high level anticipation.   

Any NHL player of Subban’s size will face challenges defending forwards with substantial height and weight advantages, however, the crafty, quick thinking game he possess will allow him to succeed at the pro level if he continues his improvement trajectory. Expect some seasoning in the AHL on a very competitive Utica team. The time for Jordan to skate in the NHL isn’t far off and seeing him for a stint should this season should be considered in Vancouver as they rebuild on the fly, his slow steady progress is paying off and he might just be the next best thing they have outside the NHL.