Florida Panthers: Which Winger Will Have a Better Season?

OTTAWA, ON - MARCH 29: Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators battles for position against Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers at Canadian Tire Centre on March 29, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - MARCH 29: Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators battles for position against Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers at Canadian Tire Centre on March 29, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Huberdeau vs Hoffman: Skating

NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 19: Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Nashville Predators during an NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on February 19, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 19: Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Nashville Predators during an NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on February 19, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Cal: While his skating isn’t his most valuable asset, Hoffman is much more equipped to be faster than Huberdeau. Hoffman is an inch smaller and weighs 15 pounds less, thus using this to his advantage.

The difference between the two is that Huberdeau uses skills (and creativity) a lot more than Hoffman. Hoffman’s a bit more of a one-dimensional player, as skill isn’t really his cup of tea. While on the other hand, Huberdeau uses a lot of flashy moves and flair to dominate on the ice.

His goal this past season against the Minnesota Wild showcased that kind of ability, embarrassing Nate Prosser with a toe drag, extending out to beat Alex Stalock to his pad-side to tie the game.

It’s this kind of ability that edges Huberdeau in this category for me. Hoffman might be able to skate to good spots for a lot of his goals, but it’s Huberdeau’s ability on the puck that gives him my vote.

Danny: It may be weird for me to say, but because we’re purely talking about skating, my vote actually goes to Mike Hoffman for this one.

Hoffman is definitely the faster skater between himself and Jonathan Huberdeau, and it really isn’t close. Huberdeau by no means is a slow skater, but to call him fast is a stretch of the imagination.

Skating has never been Huberdeau’s strong suit as he’s always relied more on his hands and creativity to get around players, while Hoffman relies more on his blazing speed to burn through his opposition. A great example I turn to illustrate Hoffman’s lightning-quick speed is his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After laying the puck off to Christian Jaros, Jaros quickly feeds the puck back to Mike Hoffman, who uses his speed to rush down on a breakaway and pop a backhander top-shelf. Goals like this are hard to stop, and with the speed that Hoffman possesses, it’s only going to create nightmares for the opposition’s defense.

You don’t find that kind of speed with Jonathan Huberdeau, but you certainly find it with Mike Hoffman. Because of that, my vote can only go to Hoffman in this category.