It was a nightmare sophomore season for Jonathan Huberdeau. Despite playing in 21-more games than he did his rookie season he fell three points shy of his rookie season point’s total.
The 20-year old forward scored 31-points his rookie season with 13-goals in 69-games, but failing to reach the ten goal plateau this year.
Dale Tallon said at his end of year press conference that Huberdeau fell victim of both bad luck and a lack of confidence. While the only thing you can do about luck is to play it out until things turn around, Huberdeau desperately needed something to help with his confidence heading into next.
With the Florida Panthers expected to be busy this offseason, scoring wingers will certainly be atop their list to help cure the second worst scoring team in the league and depending on the help that they bring in, Huberdeau could easily be slid down the depth chart.
So this tournament was big, both for him personally but for the Panthers’ management team. If Huberdeau had a strong tournament, the Panthers could roll the dice and not go after too many wingers so they don’t bury him too far on the depth chart.
He didn’t disappoint, averaging a little over 12-minutes a game, Huberdeau scored five points (G, 4 A) in the tournament – more than the three American Panthers that participated in the tournament put up together. He was also tied for the third highest plus/minus – plus-six.
This is exactly what Huberdeau needed, especially his confidence. He won the Calder Trophy his rookies season, so the potential is there. If he can carry this into next season the Panthers will have another one of their high draft picks roaming their top two lines.
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