Malcolm Subban is the 41st goaltender to have been summoned to the stage by the Boston Bruins at an NHL draft. The younger brother of rival Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban went down as the 24th overall choice in last Friday’s opening round.
With that, he joins Evgeni Ryabchikov and Hannu Toivonen as the only three stoppers selected by Boston in the first round. As it happens, there is not much pressure if he wants to exceed the fulfillment of those two, although the Bruins have also dug out their share of goaltending gems for themselves and for competitors.
Ironically, the two most successful stoppers drafted by the Bruins had some their best highlights at Boston’s expense.
Ken Dryden (14th overall in 1964) famously disrupted a would-be dynasty on behalf of the Canadiens in 1971, then won later playoff duels with the Bruins in 1977, 1978 and 1979.
Bill Ranford logged 122 appearances in two nonconsecutive two-year stints with the team that chose him with the 52nd pick in 1985. But in between, he masterfully backstopped the Edmonton Oilers to victory over Boston in a five-game Stanley Cup final series in 1990.
In 15 professional seasons, Ranford only saw one momentary reassignment from the NHL, namely a three-game stint with the AHL’s Moncton Golden Flames in 1986-87. He otherwise accumulated 647 NHL games, the second-most among any goalie drafted by the Bruins.
Dan Bouchard, the 27th pick in 1970, barely beats out Ranford in that area. He started his professional odyssey without delay with two AHL seasons, then permanently established himself in The Show en route to a cumulative 655 games and 14 seasons in Atlanta, Calgary, Quebec and Winnipeg.
At the other extreme, more than half of the 40 goalies preceding Subban in this distinction―21 of them to be exact―have yet to see or never saw a lick of action in the NHL. That includes Ryabchikov, the 21st overall choice in 1994 whose brightest days consisted of 16 sporadic appearances in Providence between 1994-95 and 1996-97.
There is still time for Michael Hutchinson, the presumptive P-Bruins starter for 2012-13 who was chosen 77th overall in 2008 and dressed as a Boston backup for a March 4 visit to the New York Rangers earlier this year.
As for the rest, here is a rapid-fire recap of each goalie’s journey to and from the NHL that began with the Bruins placing them in their pool of prospects.
Curt Ridley (28th overall, 1971)
Jim Pettie (142nd overall, 1973)
Pettie required five seasons in the IHL and AHL before playing 19 of his 21 career NHL games, all with the Bruins, in 1978-79. That was followed by two more years in the minors.
Dave Parro (34th overall, 1977)
Parro never saw action with the black and gold, but would play 77 games for Washington as part of a 10-year professional career.
Marco Baron (99th overall, 1979)
The 1981-82 season marked the shining moment for Baron, who played 44 of his 86 career NHL games with the Bruins that regular season.
But other than 20 other twirls in Boston, 21 with Los Angeles and one for Edmonton, Baron was a bona fide journeyman stopping in eight minor-league cities over a six-year career.
Mike Moffat (165th overall, 1980)
That same 1982 campaign saw Moffat carry the full 11-game playoff load. Other than that, he mustered only 19 NHL games between 1981 and 1984.
Don Sylvestri (182nd overall, 1981)
Drafted in the ninth round of the 1981 draft out of Clarkson University, Sylvestri joined the team upon graduating, but lasted all of one season in the pros. His career contained three NHL games with the Bruins, six with the Pinebridge Bucks of the Atlantic Coast League and 14 with the IHL’s Indianapolis Checkers.
Norm Foster (222nd overall, 1983)
Foster spent each of his first three professional seasons as a Milwaukee Admiral and Maine Mariner. He finally saw action in three games for Boston in 1990-91, only to be dealt to Edmonton, with whom he played in 10 more NHL contests.
Matt DelGuidice (77th overall, 1987)
A West Haven, Conn., product, DelGuidice saw action in 11 games his first two professional seasons. He otherwise manned the crease for the Mariners and P-Bruins before departing at midseason in 1992-93 and spending the rest of his nine-year career as a semipro nomad.
Mike Bales (105th overall, 1990)
Bales made his lone Boston appearance in his NHL debut Jan. 9, 1993. He played less than half of a 6-2 loss to New Jersey in relief of John Blue.
Bales was otherwise a Providence mainstay his first two seasons before his rights were transferred to Ottawa. He put in 21 appearances with the Senators, then plugged through the AHL and IHL for five years before finishing his career with nearly a decade of overseas action.
Marcel Cousineau (62nd overall, 1991)
Cousineu had his rights transferred to Toronto within two years of being picked 62nd overall in 1991. He logged 26 NHL contests with the Maple Leafs, Islanders and Kings, but was otherwise a worldly plugger in a 12-year career.
Scott Bailey (112th overall, 1992)
Bailey went a decent 6-6-2 in his NHL career, which was spread over the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons with the Bruins.
After five years in the organization, he was discharged and spent another five years as a nomad, ultimately finishing with the defunct British version of the London Knights.
John Grahame (229th overall, 1994)
Grahame was chosen in the ninth and final round of the 1994 draft before enrolling at Lake Superior State, which he would leave for the professional ranks after his junior season.
In addition to 76 games in Boston followed by 148 in Tampa Bay and Carolina, his career has been highlighted by backstopping a record-setting P-Bruins team to the 1999 Calder Cup championship.
Paxton Schafer (47th overall, 1995)
After his second-round selection, Schafer returned to his junior team in Medicine Hat for one more year, then played three games in Boston as a rookie in 1996-97.
That would be his full lot at the top level as Schafer split the rest of his first six years between the AHL and ECHL. He was long gone from the Bruins system by his final season in 2002-03, split between four different Double-A teams.
Andrew Raycroft (135th overall, 1998)
Raycroft had arguably the most promising start of any backstopping Bruins draftee, winning the 2003-04 Calder Trophy after three years of shuttling between Boston and Providence.
It has been fairly downhill for him since the 2004-05 lockout. Raycroft has switched organizations three times, beginning with a summer 2006 trade to Toronto, and was most recently sighted with the Dallas Stars’ farm team.
Jordan Sigalet (209th overall, 2001)
Sigalet’s playing endeavors met an unfortunate end that was implicitly brought on by his bout with multiple sclerosis. He retired within eight years of being drafted and compiling the majority of his highlights at Bowling Green State University and the P-Bruins.
In between, he saw only 43 seconds of NHL action in a Jan. 7, 2006 game against the Lightning.
Sigalet’s final year of competition in North America was marred by an in-game health scare at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Nov. 15, 2007. He would manage only 19 appearances that season, followed by five in an Austrian league the next year.
Hannu Toivonen (29th overall, 2002)
For a time, it looked like Toivonen might be Raycroft’s successor, but his ongoing career has met a similar fate. His only full NHL season was 2005-06, when he played 20 games for Boston. He added 18 more the following year before being traded to St. Louis to make room for Manny Fernandez and Tuukka Rask.
Toivonen scraped the Blues' blue paint 23 times in 2007-08, but has not been in the NHL since.