If you could script the perfect horror story for Jonathan Huberdeau’s sophomore season, it would go a lot like this year has been going for the Calder Trophy winner from a year ago.
His point production has dropped dramatically, as on his current pace he will barely top his point production from last year’s 48-game schedule. Huberdeau scored 31-points in 48-games last year, capturing rookie of the year – he is currently on a 32-point pace season over 80-games.
After leaving Sunday’s game with an upper body injury, it appears that he may not even get a chance to top last year’s mark. With the Florida Panthers heading to the West coast for a four game road trip, Huberdeau was not one of the players traveling.
Nothing more has been revealed at the moment as to how long the 20-year old winger will be out, but this is an even bigger deflator for the young forward. After registering his third multi-assist game of the season against the New Jersey Devils, Huberdeau only played 5:13 before leaving the game against the Vancouver Canucks.
I have been a huge fan of Huberdeau going back to his draft year, as I had him rated higher than Gabriel Landeskog and was generally surprised that the Colorado Avalanche passed on him.
Sometimes it is easy to forget how young some of these players are coming into the league. Despite his immediate success last season, this is still a 20-year old with only 114-games under his belt as a NHLer.
Obviously in hind sight had Huberdeau produced more this year, the team might not be at the bottom of the NHL standings but every player - no matter how great – has to go through some adversity at some point in their career.
Sidney Crosby played in only 63-games in a two year span while he recovered from concussion symptoms, he is healthy this year and playing some of his best hockey in years.
For Huberdeau, however, it has been more a string of bad luck or a serious of ‘just misses’. It seems that just one break here or there and he would be able to bust out of the slump.
With time still left in the season it is always possible to make the best of ending, Huberdeau will just have to wait after the team’s road trip.
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