The Maple Leafs addressed what many believe their biggest need and acquired a young, puck moving, free agent defenseman with the signing of Jordan Subban. The youngest of the NHL Subbans, Jordan was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks but was not sent a qualifying offer after his entry-level contract expired. He has signed for $650,000 for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Connor Carrick, Timothy Lilegren, Andrew Neilsen, Justin Holl, Calle Rosen, Andreas Borgman, Igor Ozhiganov, Jesper Lindgren, Martin Marincin. These are all the names that are lining up for the final defense position alongside Travis Dermott on the third pair and are competition for Jordan Subban. Seven of these players are under 25 years old including Subban, which is a positive situation for him to be in. There are no opportunities to be given away with the Maple Leafs right now, and Subban will have to work if he wants to win that position.
Subban himself is an interesting prospect. At 5’9″ 173lbs he is not going to intimidate any players however, as small as he is Jordan Subban loved to play physically. Hockeysfuture.com ranked him a C level prospect when drafted, but noted his grit and intensity in his surprisingly physical style of play. He is also quite offensively talented with a strong shot, plus better than average skating ability allowing him to jump into the play and lead rushes out of his own end. With his offensive prowess Subban could be a powerplay specialist using his big shot from the point.
Will we see Subban next season? I hope we do, even if it is just for a small playing stint like we saw with Justin Holl last season. In order to get an opportunity Subban will need to adapt quickly to the Marlies team under head coach Sheldon Keefe. But, Subban is a skilled puck moving defenseman with good skating abilities and shouldn’t have too many problems fitting in with the high octane Marlies offense.
Overall Jordan Subban is a low-risk, high reward depth signing for the Maple Leafs and, a Toronto boy himself. With Sean Durzi getting drafted in the second round, Mitch Marner and Nazem Kadri playing important positions on the roster, and the addition of John Tavares through free agency, Kyle Dubas is attracting and bringing in hometown kids. Along with their childhood fandom, these players have immense skill and hopefully Jordan Subban can prove to be another born and raised Maple Leafs player.