Malcolm Subban: Looking for new start with new Vegas Golden Knights

A former first-round pick, Malcolm Subban was placed on waivers and later claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Vegas Golden Knights have added another former first-round pick to the mix. This player, though, is looking for a new start with Vegas being as good a spot for that second chance as any.

Selected number 24 overall by the Boston Bruins back in 2012, Malcolm Subban has come nowhere close to living up to his draft status, nor his last name.

Malcolm is the younger brother of former Montreal Canadiens and current Nashville Predator P. K. Subban. The former Norris Trophy winner P.K. is one of the most charismatic, and energetic players in the league, not to mention one of the best at his position.

It seemed like a budding headline in the making, brother-vs-brother, in one of the biggest rivalries in all of hockey.

Now neither brother remains with the team that originally drafted him.

What never came to be

Goalies are a risky pick in the early in a draft as most take years to develop fully into their potential, something not ideal in a first-round pick.

Teams don’t want to wait five years for a first round investment to sniff the NHL. Not when so many skaters are contributing right away at 18 and 19-years-old.

The Bruins saw something in Subban, though, while playing for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Subban played four years at Belleville and posted a solid 29-11-4 record with 5 SOs and a 2.14 GAA in his draft year garnering NHL level attention. He became the second goalie drafted overall behind only Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning).

Four mediocre seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) later, and Subban could not develop into anything that the Bruins thought he was worth keeping as the team’s backup. Without being waiver exempt, he had to be exposed to the rest of the league to be sent back to the minors.

With Tuukka Rask entrenched in Boston, there was never really a place for Malcolm Subban there as the starter, but he never gave them a reason to keep him around.

In two appearances at the NHL level, Subban only managed 62 minutes of game action allowing six total goals while posting a 5.81 goals-against-average (GAA), and a .727 save percentage (SV%).

What to look forward to

There is no better place to get a fresh start for a player like Subban than an organization who is literally starting from fresh.

Not including the three they took this past June, the Golden Knights have seven former first-round picks under contract for the upcoming season. Subban makes it eight.

Once the minor league season starts, Subban will have to compete for playing time with Maxime Lagace and Oscar Dansk, two free agent signings by the Golden Knights earlier this offseason.

Dansk was drafted just a few picks behind Malcolm Subban and was once thought to be the future in net for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team who selected him. After turning pro, Dansk only spent one season in the AHL before heading back to his native Sweden for the last two years.

Undrafted, Lagace signed with the Dallas Stars’ organization after turning pro. He bounced back and forth between the AHL and East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) his first two seasons, playing for three different teams during that span.

Last season saw Lagace play in the most games of any goaltender for the Iowa Stars, beating out Justin Peters by one game. He posted a single shutout but finished with an overall record of 11-12-2 to go along with a 3.56 GAA and a .883 SV%.

For Subban, 23-years-old is still relatively young for a goaltender, but time is running out to prove himself as a potential option at the NHL level.

Hindsight may be 20/20 but Malcolm Subban was thought of more than both Matt Murray and Frederik Andersen at one point. Murray has two Stanley Cup wins, and Andersen earned a big contract as a starting goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Maybe the best place for him to carve out a role is a team that has few set in stone.

Will Subban be able to use this new start to his advantage? Or is he destined to be nothing more than a depth minor league player? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Anthony Murphy