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Subban Putting His Name On The Map

Special Thanks to John Langdon for the Article

BELLEVILLE - The Subban name has gained a prominent amount of recognition throughout the hockey world in recent years.  Most notably, PK Subban – a defenceman with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League has grabbed the attention of many with his on-ice theatrics and highlight-reel plays.  But the Habs blueliner isn’t the only player putting the Subban name on the map. PK’s younger brother, Malcolm, a goaltender with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League, is not only following in his older brother’s footsteps, but is starting to make a name for himself.
Growing up, Malcolm learned to play the game, like so many Canadian kids do, on the backyard rink of their Rexdale, Ontario home, while playing with PK, along with younger brother, and current Bulls teammate, Jordan.  Their father, Karl, who immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean as a kid, was introduced to the game through street hockey with neighbourhood friends in Sudbury, Ontario.  For Karl, it was a new found culture which evolved into a passion that he would later pass on to his sons as both a father and a coach.
“For sure, he’s had a big influence on us,” Subban said about his father.  “Using his knowledge and passing it down to us gave us a good start.”
“He knows a lot about the game, so it was good for us to have a father like that.”
It wasn’t until the age of 12 when Subban began his career as a goaltender.  As a child, Malcolm grew up playing on the blueline like his brothers, until his father finally allowed him to play between the pipes.
“My dad was my coach and when I was 12 he finally let me become a goaltender and it took off from there.”
After being selected 218th overall in the 2009 OHL Entry Draft, it’s fair to say that Subban has exceeded expectations from the Bulls organization and fans alike.  As an 11th round draft pick, Subban took over the number one spot in the Bulls’ crease as a rookie by playing 32 games, while backstopping his team into the playoffs, where the 6’1”, 188 lbs. goaltender posted some striking numbers.
“When Malcolm came to us two years ago through the draft, as a late ’93 birthdate, our expectation wasn’t for him to play as much as he did last year,” Bulls assistant coach Jason Supryka said.  “It was going to be a real developmental year for him, and he took advantage of an opportunity that really turned in his favour.”
The sophomore netminder has also caught the attention of NHL scouts, and is currently listed among the top ranked OHL prospects for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  While Subban admits that his draft eligibility sits in the back of his mind, he isn’t allowing the pressure to influence his game.
“It sits in the back of my mind,” Subban said. “But you try not to think about it. The scouts are going to be there every game, so you can’t worry about it too much. You just got to go out and play your game.”
Playing under the microscope of NHL scouts can be overwhelming at times for junior hockey players, whose youth is often overlooked in the public’s eye, due to their stardom on the rink.  Fortunately, for Malcolm, he can turn to older brother PK for guidance.
“We try to talk as much as we can,” Subban said.  “He always tells me to stay focused, and stay grounded.”
“When I tell him what’s going on, (PK) will tell me ‘don’t get too excited about it or don’t get too down about it, you just got to stay leveled.  Keep focused and play your game.’”
Being a middle brother, Malcolm finds himself in a unique position.  As much as Malcolm plays the role of student while seeking advice from older brother PK, he also finds himself teaching younger brother Jordan, both on and off the ice.
“I’m living with him right now,” Jordan said.  “Just being able to have him there to help give me some tips on my rookie season, and just how things work, it’s been great.”
Although he may not be as vocal as PK, Jordan says that through leading by example, Malcolm leaves a lasting impression.
“He never gives up,” Jordan added.  “He never quits.  He’s just really tenacious, and always is willing to work harder, and get better every game.”
In April 2011, Subban took his game to the international level when he was selected to the Team Canada roster for the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championships in Germany, where the 17-year-old netminder recorded a shutout in his first appearance before backstopping Canada to the Bronze medal game against Russia.  The Russians would go on to defeat the Canadians, but facing their arch-rivals on a grand stage turned out to be an indescribable experience.
“You know the Canada versus Russia series…If you were to go up against Russia, you would be pretty pumped,” Subban said with laughter in his voice.
Despite failing to bring home a medal, representing his country was an honour in itself for Subban.
“(Playing for Canada) was surreal,” Malcolm said.  “It was the best experience of my hockey career, so far.”
This past summer, Subban found himself, once again, on the ice with some of the best junior hockey players in the world at the 2011 NHL Research, Development, and Orientation Camp in Toronto, where some of the future’s brightest stars meet for a chance to showcase their talents in front of NHL brass.
“Playing against guys that you’re going to be up against in the draft was pretty fun,” the 6’1, 188 lbs. netminder said.  “It got me ready for the season.”
“This is the beginning, and it’s going to be a long way to go, but you just have to stay focused and be consistent throughout the whole season.”
Maintaining focus hasn’t been a problem for Subban this season.  After being sidelined with an ankle injury for nearly a month, the Bulls goaltender has bounced back in a big way since his return on November 4, by posting a 12-4 record, along with an OHL best 1.93 GAA and .938 SV%, while earning CHL Goaltender of the Week honours twice in November.

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