Well, that certainly was a fun draft weekend to watch! There were some predictable picks–like Edmonton taking Nail Yakupov first, although I personally think they should’ve taken a young defenseman–and some sleepers (Hampus Lindholm, anyone?), but it wasn’t until later in the first round that I think the biggest surprise happened.
No, I don’t mean the Jordan Staal trade that will send him to be captained by his brother Eric. I kind of sensed something coming when he refused to sign that big 10-year deal with Pittsburgh. He’s a talented centerman, but his problem is that he was on a stacked team. When you have teammates like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, you’re going to be on the third line whereas on other teams, there’s a potential to be on top.
I was already waiting for the Bruins to make their choice just because they’re the Bruins. They had to wait a while to announce their selection because, for once, Toronto decided to actually use its high-up pick. By that time, the draft coverage had already changed dance partners from NBCSN to NHL Network (big mistake on NBCSN’s part), and the mayhem from the Staal trade died down. But then Peter Chiarelli took the podium and…drafted PK Subban‘s little brother.
I couldn’t hear the chatter from the talking heads at first–sounds like Pierre McGuire is really, really amused–because I was laughing so hard. The Boston Bruins drafting the brother of a Montreal Canadien?! But, as usual, Chiarelli is clever and made a good selection. Subban is a pretty darn good goalie, considering he’s only been playing that position for six years (he played defense just like PK until he was 12 at the behest of his father, who coached him). He won Goaltender of the Week for two weeks in November, then took honors for the whole month, and had a great season for the OHL Belleville Bulls.
Better yet, he has heart. I can tell by the way he’s talked about himself, his work ethic, being drafted, etc. It’s been made clear by Chiarelli and company lately that the Bruins draft guys based on character. They like hardworking, ego-less, dedicated young men who want to continue working hard and doing well. Take Matthew Grzelcyk, drafted in the third round by the Bruins. His dad has been part of the TD Garden ice crew for years and years, he’s from Charlestown and he’s a very dedicated hard worker. Plus, he just got into BU’s business school.
Already Subban, though, is making a good first impression at Bruins development camp. One of six goalies there, he got a lot of cheers when he first took the ice and continued his charm initiative by jokingly telling Boston sports radio chat show hosts that he was not a big fan of Montreal–or his brother.
I don’t think it’s likely at all that Subban will make the team next season. (This is the dawning of the age of Tuukkaquarius!) He may spend another year in Belleville honing his skills. But still, somewhere down the line, it would be a lot of fun to see the Subbans face each other on an NHL rink.