Goalie Subban is 24th pick
PITTSBURGH - The Bruins-Canadiens rivalry has become even more intense.
On Friday night, with the No. 24 overall pick, the Bruins drafted goalie Malcolm Subban, younger brother of hated Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
“The rivalry’s just about to begin,’’ Malcolm said with a smile. “I don’t know if he’s going to like me too much. To be honest, I never really liked him that much.’’
Malcolm Subban plays for Belleville of the Ontario Hockey League. In 39 games last season, he had a 2.50 goals-against average and .923 save percentage with three shutouts. Younger brother Jordan Subban also plays for Belleville.
Subban is considered an athletic and explosive goalie who needs seasoning with his technique. The 18-year-old will return to his junior team in 2012-13. Subban is expected to be among the OHL’s top goalies.
“Tremendous athlete,’’ Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “Incredible leg thrust post to post. He’s a real good kid, solid character. This draft is more long-term. Goalies take a little bit longer to develop. Happy to get him. We had him high. We’re happy to get him.’’
The 6-foot-1-inch, 195-pound Subban mentioned Henrik Lundqvist as the NHL goalie he most admires. Like his older brother, Subban started his career as a defenseman. Subban switched to goalie when he was 12 years old.
“I’d say he’s a hybrid,’’ Chiarelli said. “Very athletic. Probably technically, he needs a little bit of work. Very, very competitive. Searches for pucks in traffic. He’s big and strong. His lateral speed is tremendous.’’
Subban was the top-ranked North American goalie and the only puckstopper selected on Friday.
“My goal, from the start of the year, was to go in the first round,’’ Subban said. “Especially coming into the OHL, I never thought I’d come this far. My goal after last year was hopefully get into the first round.’’
P.K. Subban was in attendance at the Consol Energy Center. The Canadiens defenseman reminded his brother that being drafted was only the beginning of his professional journey.
“It’s going to be part of the rivalry,’’ Chiarelli said. “As a by-product, it’s kind of exciting to watch. But we’re happy to get a good, good goalie.’’
The Bruins had been seeking depth in goal. They do not have a clear-cut future No. 1 NHL goalie in the system.
The Bruins had gotten used to reaping the rewards of the Phil Kessel trade during the two previous drafts. In 2010, the Bruins took Tyler Seguin second overall. Last year, the Bruins swiped Dougie Hamilton with the No. 9 pick. Seguin was the team’s leading scorer as a second-year pro. Hamilton projects to make the varsity roster next season.
The Bruins will not have second- or fourth-round picks on Saturday. They lost their second-rounder as a condition of the Tomas Kaberle trade with Toronto. They traded their fourth-rounder to Carolina for Joe Corvo.
No decision on Pouliot
The Bruins have yet to send Benoit Pouliot a qualifying offer. The deadline is Monday at 5 p.m. Pouliot is scheduled to become a restricted free agent July 1. If the Bruins don’t qualify Pouliot, the third-line wing will become an unrestricted free agent for the second year in a row. Last June, Montreal declined to tender Pouliot a contract. The Bruins then signed Pouliot to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.
If the Bruins qualify Pouliot, they would prefer to negotiate an extension outside of arbitration. If Pouliot (16-16-32) is qualified and files for arbitration on July 5, he could seek a hefty raise.
The Bruins might explore the trade market after July 1. However, if they don’t make any additions, general manager Peter Chiarelli said he would be satisfied with his 2012-13 lineup.
“I don’t want to say comfortable, because I never want to be comfortable in this position,’’ Chiarelli said. “But I’d be very content if our roster now is the roster we go with. I’d be really content. But crazy things happen with the trades and free agents. You’ve just got to be on top of it, just in case you want to do something.’’
Chiarelli was pleased to see Patrice Bergeron win the Selke Trophy Wednesday in Las Vegas as the league’s best defensive forward. “A lot of Patrice Bergeron is what we stand for,’’ Chiarelli said. “When we talk about players, we bring up Bergy’s name quite a bit, like with amateur players and who we may draft. I can’t say enough about Patrice. It’s awesome he won that award. The voting was very lopsided, which doesn’t surprise me. He deserves it. He’s a two-way player who loves to play and knows how to play on both sides of the puck. Those are players who are hard to find. We’re glad he’s with us.’’
Cup of advice
Chiarelli spent part of Thursday night in Pittsburgh talking with Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who asked Chiarelli about the challenge of repeating and how to deal with the Stanley Cup hangover. Chiarelli informed Lombardi that fatigue, both physical and mental, was unavoidable. Chiarelli also reminded Lombardi of the difficulty of doing business as the Cup-winning GM. “No one’s going to help you, Dean,’’ Chiarelli told Lombardi. “That’s what happens.’’ . . . The NHL announced that New Jersey will host the 2013 draft, and that Philadelphia will be the site in 2014. of the 2014 draft . . . Rounds 2-7 are Saturday. The NHL Network begins its coverage at 10 a.m.
Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.