Sep 29, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Florida Panthers rookie center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) skates through the Dallas Stars zone during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Jonathan Huberdeau Continues To Impress At The Junior Level

The future certainly looks bright for the 3rd overall selection of the 2011 NHL draft. Jonathan Huberdeau continues to tear it up at the junior level with the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QJMHL. As a Florida Panther fan, I can’t help but be over joyed that Huberdeau is playing so well night in and night out.

Thankfully Huberdeau made a healthy recovery after suffering a leg injury earlier this season. He was healthy in time for the World Junior Championships and certainly made an impact on the team. In the 6 games Team Canada played, Huberdeau registered 9 points. His Saint John Sea Dogs currently sit atop the QMJHL standings, after Huberdeau scored the game winning goal in their latest game in the final few seconds. Huberdeau missed a big chunk of the season due to the leg injury, 31 games to be exact, but he has still managed to score 39 points in 22 games and a +28 +/- rating. In his two seasons in the QMJHL, he has a total of 144 points and a +87 rating in 89 games. One can certainly say he is a man amongst boys in his league.

The future certainly looks bright for Huberdeau and one can only hope he is in a Panthers jersey regularly soon. He still has time to grow and develop more into a professional hockey player, some people even had him making the team this season but Dale Tallon knew he was still a puppy compared to some of the veterans the Panthers play night in a night out. It’s amazing that a kid that is barely allowed to vote in the US is getting so much attention now a days. Players like Ryan Nugent Hopkins and Adam Larsson are all having success in the NHL but have been bumped and bruised quite a bit playing with players bigger and stronger than them. Although Nugent Hopkins is having great success, getting injuries when your barely 19 years old doesn’t seem to be the correct formula for success, but you never know.

I’m glad with the move that Dale Tallon made by keeping Huberdeau in juniors and developing into a bigger stronger player. It will be interesting too see what will happen to Huberdeau next offseason and whether or not he’ll make this squad; but that’s a ways away from now. All we can hope for is a healthy Huberdeau and a player who has a knack for piling up points, after all he did lead the Panthers with 4 points in 5 games during the pre-season. Won’t be too long from now that we’ll be seeing Huberdeau jerseys all over the Bank Atlantic Center on a nightly basis.

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