23-Year-Old Goalie – Boston Bruins
Malcolm Subban Contract Information:
Subban signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Bruins in September of 2012.
Subban practiced with AHL Providence on Wednesday, Mark Divver of The Providence Journal reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
With Tuukka Rask still in his prime, the Bruins have no reason to rush the 21-year-old Subban into a high-pressure NHL assignment. However, with last year’s top backup in Niklas Svedberg having left the organization, the No. 2 goalie spot behind Rask is wide open. Unless the team signs another veteran option, Subban’s competition on that front is slated to be Jeremy Smith, who is coming off a strong AHL campaign, and Zane McIntyre, who turned pro after a stellar 2014-15 season with the University of North Dakota, in which he captured the Mike Richter Award. With that in mind, unless Subban dazzles this preseason, he might be best served by another season of regular action at the AHL level, where he compiled a 2.44 GAA and .921 save percentage in 35 contests with Providence in 2014-15. For a little perspective, Smith posted a 2.05 GAA and a .933 save percentage in 39 games last year with Providence, while working in tandem with Subban. At the age of 26, Smith has an obvious edge in terms of experience, but Subban -- a 2012 first-rounder -- remains a top prospect with plenty of upside, and one who maintains high value in keeper formats. Rask is locked in for a while on a long-term deal, so there’s always the chance that the Bruins could move Subban in a trade down the road, but for the time being, the youngster is knocking on the door of the NHL and poised to mount a challenge to stick with the big club to start the coming season.
With Chad Johnson having signed with the Islanders, Niklas Svedberg has the edge in claiming the job as Tuukka Rask's top backup in 2014-15. In such a scenario, Subban has a chance to see plenty of action this coming season as Providence's top netminder. In his first campaign as a pro, Subban put together a 15-10-5 record, 2.31 GAA and .920 save percentage in 33 games for Providence while working in tandem with Svedberg, who appeared in 45 AHL contests. With Rask in his prime, the Bruins have no reason to rush the 20-year-old Subban to the NHL, but the 2012 first-rounder remains a top prospect and maintains value in keeper formats.
The 19-year-old Subban is a long shot to stick with the big club, with an assignment with AHL Providence – where he'd likely be split time with either Niklas Svedberg or Chad Johnson – likely on tap for him. In what was likely his final junior season, Subban compiled a 29-11-4 record along with a 2.14 GAA and superb .934 save percentage (both OHL bests) for the Belleville Bulls, to go along with five shutouts. With Tuukka Rask around for the long haul though, Subban won't be rushed along, but the Bruins do believe that the 2012 first-rounder is ready to move on to the pro level, where he is likely to need at least a couple of seasons of minor league experience before graduating to the NHL.
Subban, who was drafted by the Bruins with the 24th pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is a few years away, but the B’s are delighted to have him on board as a potential high-upside franchise goalie. Subban needs work on his technique like most young goalies, but he is athletic and quietly confident, using his quickness and excellent flexibility to make acrobatic saves, while also bringing size, skill and good hockey sense to the table. He plays like a hybrid of Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price, but probably doesn’t have their elite skills in any of the same categories. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be a solid NHL – and fantasy – goalie. His career trajectory will be slow – his game needs work. But when he arrives, he should become an instant fan favorite.