As was reported last night in my post game wrap up, Jonathan Huberdeau was the star of game two. In just over 16 minutes of ice time the young rookie gave us a look at the future. With a goal and an assist, which was a beautiful pass to Mike Santorelli, Huberdeau showed why he was selected number three overall in this summers draft. With slick passing and quick moves, Huberdeau is going to make it difficult for the Panthers to send him back to juniors with this kind of play. All in all as good as he was, he looks like the type of player who can make those around him better. You and I know we haven’t seen that type of offensive player on this team in at least what? A decade?
“It was a great day, a great moment for me,” said Huberdeau, 18, who earned First Star honors in front of a few thousand fans that included his parents, who drove from Quebec in their RV. “It’s just the beginning. I’ve got to work hard if I want to make the team this year.”
Size, or weight might have some people worried, however with his quickness and agility it may not matter. Look at some of the other players such as Patrick Kane, who is not big by any standards. Size matters sure, but if you’re quick and have hockey sense, that will override other “deficiencies”.
Other items of note, Brian Campbell led all Panthers with 28 minutes of ice time playing not only on the power play but on the penalty kill unit as well. We saw just a glimpse last night of what he’s going to bring. Campbell also spoke of the games number one star:
“He’s very deceptive, making moves like he gets guys caught off guard,” Campbell said of Huberdeau. “Gets the puck in his skates sometimes and finds a way to get it to your stick.”
There’s a lot of competition as we keep saying, and based on the two games yesterday, there’s also a lot of players hungry to make the team. We saw some refreshing things last night, and some talent that we aren’t used to seeing. Not going crazy here, but I will tell you that the team is going to be improved. Very much improved!
Here’s your Tuesday links:
George Richards on the internal battles to make the team. Miami Herald.
Jonathan Huberdeau is the star of game two. Harvey Fialkov from the Sun- Sentinel.
Dustin Byfuglien reports to camp in shape. Puck Daddy.
What’s Marty Brodeur’s next contract worth? In Lou We Trust.
Bryan Murray thinks that Ottawa can push for a playoff spot. Ottawa Sun.
Finally, Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts.
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