Following a productive 2018 NHL campaign, forward Jonathan Huberdeau has seemingly ascended into superstar status, producing incredible numbers during the 2019 season for the Florida Panthers.
Essentially, “Huby” would remain in juniors during the 2011-12 season, the year in which the Cats clinched first place within their division.
Huberdeau would begin the 2012-13 season with the Florida Panthers, flashing clear signs of brilliance as a 19-year-old rookie.
In 48 NHL games in a lockout-shortened season, Huberdeau posted a superb slash line of 14G, 17A, and 31 points, earning himself the Calder Trophy for the league’s best rookie during the 2013 NHL season.
However, the 2013-14 season was a completely different story for the Calder Trophy winner. In 69 games as a 20-year-old, Huberdeau posted an abysmal line of 9G, 19A, for 28 points.
Evidently, Jonathan struggled mightily in terms of improving and further adapting to the NHL style of play as a sophomore.
But the 2014-15 season was a brilliant rebound season for Jonathan Huberdeau. In 79 games played, Huberdeau recorded an impressive statistical tally of 15G, 39A, for 54 points, along with a plus/minus rating of +10.
Huberdeau displayed signs of growth and development in his third season as an NHLer, performing exceptionally well following a difficult 2013-14 campaign.
Huberdeau continued his personal improvements in the 2015-16 season, his fourth season as a Florida Panther.
In 76 games played, the native of Quebec registered an improved slash line of 20G, 39A, for 59 points, along with a +17 rating, thus helping the Cats clinch the Atlantic Division title with a 103-point season (best in franchise history).
Despite being eliminated in the first round, Jonathan Huberdeau conveyed that he was transforming into a budding star for the Florida Panthers.
However, a gruesome leg injury suffered during a preseason contest sidelined Huberdeau for 51 games during the 2016-17 season.
Therefore, Huby solely participated in 31 games with FLA that season, recording 10G, 16A, and 26 points in an incredibly disappointing, underachieving season for the Florida Panthers team.
Thereafter, Huberdeau would enter the 2017-18 NHL campaign fully recovered from the leg injury. Huby played in all 82 regular season contests for the first time in his career, recording an outstanding line of 27G, 42A, and 69 points in a season where the Cats missed the playoffs by a single point.
Essentially, Huberdeau continued improving year after year, as evidenced by his increasing point totals. Hence, Huberdeau entered the 2019 season with reasonably high expectations, playing alongside talented playmakers such as Evgeni Dadonov and Aleksander Barkov.
Huberdeau started the current season awfully slowly, producing subpar point totals and being demoted onto the second line as a result of inconsistent performance.
However, despite the unexpected slow start, Huby has seemingly turned himself into a clear-cut superstar suddenly.
In 75 contests, Hubby has posted career-high marks in assists and points, producing an outstanding line of 23G, 59A, for 82 points.
Since the post-All-Star break period, Huberdeau has produced at over point-per-game measures. He and Barkov have evidently formed a formidable duo on Florida’s top line, becoming the first pair of teammates to record 80+ points in a single season in Florida Panthers history.
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In addition, Huberdeau has also established a franchise record for most assists in a single season (currently 59 assists), breaking the record previously held by defenseman Robert Svehla (53 assists).
While Huberdeau’s efforts won’t propel the Florida Panthers towards a playoff berth, the entire organization and fans should be encouraged of Huberdeau’s sudden emergence as an NHL superstar.
Jonathan Huberdeau is only 25-years-old and has an additional three years remaining on an incredibly inexpensive contract.
Therefore, the management of the Florida Panthers must surround a franchise cornerstone like Jonathan Huberdeau with a competent, proven NHL head coach and a superstar like Artemi Panarin.
Ultimately, it’s absolutely imperative that the Panthers don’t squander the prime years of Jonathan Huberdeau. Furthermore, Huby has remained with the Cats for seven NHL seasons, clinching only 1 playoff berth in the process.
The Panthers must perform everything in their power as a means of satisfying Huberdeau, which starts with finding another coach who can instill a winning mentality among Huberdeau and the others.
In short, Huberdeau will be an essential piece of Florida’s core for the foreseeable future. The budding superstar will certainly contribute towards a playoff contending roster next season and for years to come.