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NHL draft tracker: Jordan Subban, Belleville Bulls

Belleville Bulls' Jordan Subban (Claus Andersen, Getty Images)Jordan Subban makes it difficult to avoid obvious comparisons with his eldest brother.

Just shy of four years ago, Subban was seated behind the net during the 2009 world junior championship gold-medal game in Ottawa when P.K. Subban scored for Canada against Sweden. On Sunday, before playing his first OHL game in the same arena, he earned first-star honours in Belleville's 3-2 win over the Ottawa 67's.

While P.K. Subban was a much more rugged rearguard, Jordan Subban is leading an offensively challenged Bulls team in scoring with 15 points in 19 games. That flows out of following the lead of P.K. and current teammate Malcolm Subban, the Boston Bruins first-rounder and hands-down favourite to be Team Canada's No. 1 goalie at the world junior.

"Jordan outscored P.K. as a 16-year-old, a lot of people forget that," Bulls coach-GM George Burnett said on Sunday, noting that Jordan had 20 points last winter while P.K. had only 12 in 2005-06.

"But P.K. also had a much more mature team with him as a young guy versus Jordan last year. There's a lot of similarities between them. Jordan doesn't have the physical size. I think P.K. made his way, I think a lot of people think he made it because of the offence. I think he made it because of his ability to compete and battle against strong guys and that was what separated him and allowed him to be a second-round pick.

"Jordan brought a lot of that into the game, but he didn't come in under the radar. P.K. did as a sixth-round pick. Jordan came in as a top-five pick in the Ontario Hockey League. P.K.'s experience has helped Jordan and Malcolm alike — how to train, how to eat, how to prepare, how to be a pro. There's been a steady development."

The Bulls have tallied only 43 goals in 19 games,  meaning Jordan Subban has factored into more than one-third of their scoring. Among underage defenceman, only Barrie's Aaron Ekblad (16 points) and Sault Ste. Marie's Darnell Nurse (15) have matched or exceeded his point total. The Rexdale, Ont., native and his puck-stopping sibling have also helped the Bulls go 3-0 in shootouts.

"I'm going to try to contribute offensively as much as I can and move the puck up to the forwards as fast as I can," Jordan Subban said. "I'm sure they'll get going sooner rather than later and when they do, we'll see a lot more success."

Subban scored a pretty goal on Sunday, backing up Ottawa's defence and zipping a shot over Ottawa goalie Keegan Wilson's blocker-side shoulder. Burnett notes the smooth-skating defender is also more physically engaged after going through some trials as a 16-year-old.

"When he skates like he did tonight on the goal that he scored [Sunday], that's exactly what we need Jordan to do, to join the rush and be creative. He's battling a lot harder on the defensive side of the game and the corners against guys who are bigger, stronger and more mature that he is at this point. There's been some real exciting progress."

It is best to be tempered about the draft prospects for defenceman with dimensions similiar to Subban's 5-foot-9 and 177 pounds. The name recognition from being the baby in one of Canada's most famous sports families — does anyone not know that Malcolm Subban also played defence as a youth? — might help with winning over doubters. Jordan Subban, at minimum, should be an intriguing middle-rounds prospect.

"I was kind of brought in to being a defenceman," he said on Sunday. "I fell in love with playing defence. I tried playing forward but with defence you get the best of both worlds. you can play defence and get scoring opportunities."

1. What was the hardest lesson you learned as a rookie?

"You always have to work hard, you can't take anyone lightly, you can't take any games off. That's one of the things I took from last year."

2. Every player at your age has to improve his speed and strength, but what is one aspect of the game you really want to show improvement in this season?

"For me, it's always been my D-zone, that's always been the biggest question. That's something I really worked hard on in the summer and hopefully it will just continue to get better."

3. Does having your brother as the last line of defence help in that regard?

"He's one of if not the best goalie in the league, so it helps having him back there. He gives everyone a boost of confidence and we communicate well with each other. It's nice having him back there."

4. Hockey players have to be strict with their nutrition. What is your favourite unhealthy snack?

"Toaster strudels. I love toaster strudels."

5. What's your most interesting class in school?

"Math and business, those are my two most interesting. Probably business. You learn a lot of about how money works, businesses and corporations around the world."

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet .

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