|Rank||Change from '13||M. Leonard||Cornelius||Nolan||Dan||Giesse||Sean||Sarah||Kristian||Servo|
Vitals: 6'2", 201 lbs
Acquired: Drafted by the Bruins in 2012, 24th overall
NHL experience: none (exhibition only)
The 2013-2014 season marked the first professional slate in what will hopefully be a long career for Malcolm Subban. After participating in last year's big club training camp, Subban was sent to Providence where he was part of a goalie tandem with current (or soon-to-be, more accurately) Bruins back-up Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg shouldered more of the load than Subban, but the rookie still appeared in 39 games (33 regular season, six playoff).
How did he do? Not bad. In the regular season, Subban posted a 15-10-5 record with one shutout, a .920 save percentage and a GAA of 2.31. Those numbers are pretty much in line with what he did in recent years on the OHL, with save percentages of .923 and .934 and GAA's of 2.50 and 2.14 in '11-'12 and '12-'13, respectively.
Subban also represented Canada at the World Juniors, going 4-2 in Canada's eventual fourth-place finish.
Subban should take on a lot more responsibility between the pipes in Providence this season. With Svedberg likely up in Boston for the entire year, Subban should end up being the de facto number one for the full AHL season.
Here's what Bruins prospect guru Kirk Luedeke had to say about Subban:
Malcolm Subban, G PRO (AHL) 6-2, 205;Rd 1, 24- 2012 Up:Elite athlete; unmatched explosiveness in crease with superb quickness; top character— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) September 12, 2014
Down: Technique still in refinement; will alternate from making brilliant saves to allowing softies (focus?); will need to be patient (Rask)— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) September 12, 2014
Projection: Top eventual NHL starter; Subban has amazing tools & the right attitude, but like Rask b4 him- will have to wait given BOS #1 G— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) September 12, 2014
Basically, Subban is on target development-wise. The Bruins organization appears to be pretty happy with where he is and where he's headed. However, it projects to be a while before Subban takes regular turns in the spoked-B. Tuukka Rask is just coming into his prime and is signed for quite a while.
As Luedeke said, Subban (and Bruins fans itching to see him) will have to be patient if he wants his shot at being an NHL goalie to come in Boston. Could he get a start or two in the NHL this season? Sure, anything is possible. In fact, if he plays well enough in the AHL, the Bruins could potentially use Svedberg as a trade piece and pull Subban up to fill that role later in the season.
It's clear, however, that someone is going to have to go. Subban projects to be too good to stay in the AHL for three years. Svedberg has already shown that he's, at the very least, a capable NHL back-up. Rask is Rask, so in all likelihood, one of Subban or Svedberg, who I ranked higher on this list based solely on being closer to "NHL ready," will be playing elsewhere within a couple years.
However, that's all speculation for now. In Subban, the Bruins have what they hoped they'd get when they drafted him: a talented kid who is putting in the work necessary to improve. With another professional season under his belt (and potentially a couple of NHL games too) at the end of this season, expect him to rise even higher on next year's list.