Florida Panthers: Mike Hoffman Will Have at Least 30 Goals this Season

MONTREAL, QC - SEPTEMBER 19: Florida Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman (68) skates during the first period of the NHL preseason game between the New Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens on September 19, 2018, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - SEPTEMBER 19: Florida Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman (68) skates during the first period of the NHL preseason game between the New Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens on September 19, 2018, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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With all the tools he has, Mike Hoffman has the capability of recording at least thirty goals this year for the Cats.

For years, the Florida Panthers have looked for that winger that resembles the top scorers of the NHL. Examples of these types include Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and others. The Panthers never had this scorer on their roster, until they finally added that piece.

Some fans might say that the Panthers found this elite scoring winger last year when they signed free agent Evgeni Dadonov. While he certainly fits all of the qualifications for what is wanted in a scoring winger, they needed one more player of this playing style to complete the puzzle.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon saw this issue very clearly and decided to address it in the offseason.

In a rollercoaster ride for the Panthers that day, the news broke that they had acquired another scoring threat in forward Mike Hoffman. They got him in a three-way deal with the San Jose Sharks and division rivals, Ottawa Senators.

If the lineup ends up the way I think it will, Hoffman will perfectly round out Florida’s top-six. If he’s placed on the right-wing alongside Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck (which likely will be the case), Hoffman is bound for a thirty-goal season.

First off, Hoffman fulfills something that Panther fans have craved for a long time: an Ovechkin-like one-timer option on the power play. Hoffman has proven to be that option, exactly what the Cats need for their man advantage.

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In the last preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Hoffman’s lethal one-timer was already on display in South Florida. As the power play continued to fire shots, Aleksander Barkov – who was quarterbacking the power play – slid the puck across the rink to Hoffman. In a flash, he blistered a one-timer right past the glove of Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. With extended power play minutes and scoring opportunities, Hoffman should hit the thirty-goal mark this season.

Furthermore, Hoffman will reach thirty goals this season largely because of the help he has in his linemates. If my prediction is correct, Mike will play this season alongside forwards Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau. These set-up men are incredible with getting the puck to their teammates, something Huberdeau has always been known for.

While in Ottawa, Hoffman wasn’t surrounded by top players on a nightly basis. His linemates consisted of guys ranging from Mark Stone to Zack Smith.

But it’s worth noting that while he played alongside players of this caliber, he still managed to score in the mid to high 20s. And, if he plays with elite NHL talent on a consistent basis, he’s bound to hit the thirty-goal mark (one way or another).

Finally, even after all of the drama that he’s gone through off the ice in the past few months, his mental state has remained strong and will carry over to begin the season.

When the scandal about his fiancée went viral, fans and critics were worried that the outside distractions would affect his abilities on the ice. While this may seem like a valid point, his current situation is nothing but positive as his new teammates and friends have welcomed him in as apart of the Panthers family.

When thinking about the big move to Florida in a positive manner, there are many benefits to Hoffman’s transition to Sunrise. Now that he’s in a new environment, he has the opportunity to flourish while playing with the best of the best.

As most of the league knows, Florida is on the brink of success, so Hoffman is set to win. For the first time in his career, he’ll be playing with elite players who are only beginning to reach their full potential and ready to make a full mark in this league.

When thinking about the positives of Hoffman’s mentality, there’s nothing that should stop him from potting thirty this season.

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With his current situation after the move to Florida, forward Mike Hoffman is prone to reach thirty goals this year.