By Jasminee Sahoye
The youngest of the three Subban brothers, known in some circles, as the first Black family to play competitive ice hockey in Canada, hopes to follow in the paths of his two older brothers, Pernell Karl aka P.K. and Malcolm.
P.K. is a defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens while Malcolm plays in goal with the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League. Both spent their junior careers with the Belleville Bulls, Jordan’s current team.
Jordan, who turned 20 on March 3, plays defence for the Ontario Hockey League’s Bulls. He says he’s inspired by his brothers especially, his eldest, P.K.
“Whenever I can pick his brain I do and I try to do as much as possible,” he told The Camera in exclusive interview last Friday when his team played the league-leading Oshawa Generals in the Motor City.
P.K has been quoted in the New Yorker as saying “Jordan’s going to be the best of all of us,” after Jordan was drafted in the fourth round (115th overall) in 2013 by the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks.
Asked how he feels about the comment of his eldest brother, Jordan says, “I hope so; it’s definitely words of encouragement and motivation for me. I’m going try and be the best player I can be.”
And what are his thoughts on the game he played last September for the Vancouver Canucks against the San Jose Sharks after he scored to put the Canucks up 1-0 in their exhibition game? “It gave me a chance to play against the best players in the world and it was a great experience.”
When Subban and his team played the Generals at General Motors Centre arena on Friday the Generals cruised to an 8-4 win over the Bulls.
Subban fought hard for his team scoring a goal in the first period. He said they expected the game to be tough. “It was pretty close for a while but we just kind of let off the pedal.”
However, in a rematch the following day at Belleville’s Yardmen Arena, the Bulls made a comeback with a 4-1 victory over the powerhouse Generals before a crowd of more than 3,000. That put the Bulls in third place in the East Division of the Eastern Conference with 57 points while the Generals have clinched a playoff berth.
Subban was honoured during a pre-game ceremony for surpassing the franchise record for most goals in a season by a Bulls defenceman (19), set in 2008-09. He leads his team with 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points.
And what keeps this energetic defenceman motivated? “I just love the game. I played since I was a kid. It’s just something that I love to do.”
His advice to young hockey players is to “stay committed, stay dedicated and never give up. I know a lot guys that weren’t best players growing up but they just keep working and they ended up playing in the NHL.”
Subban’s parents immigrated to Ontario in the 1970s. His father Karl moved from Jamaica to Sudbury and his mother Maria came from Montserrat to Hamilton. Karl is a retired school principal. Jordan was born in Rexdale and has two sisters, Nastassia and Natasha.