Florida Panthers: Can Jonathan Huberdeau Finally Make the All-Star Game?

The Florida Panthers’ elite winger could be considered the NHL’s most underrated forward. Despite his impressive offensive resume, he has never been part of the All-Star Game, but this could finally be his year.

Jonathan Huberdeau has set the franchise record for assists in a season, is one of just four Florida Panthers players ever to crack the 90-point plateau, and he’s still only 26-years-old.

You would think that at some point, he would have been awarded the honour of attending an All-Star weekend. Unfortunately for Huberdeau, that has never happened.

It was a bit surprising he wasn’t named to the Atlantic team’s roster for last year’s festivities in San Jose, but if he continues his scorching offensive pace, he will soon get the credit he deserves.

Let’s look at last year’s Atlantic Division roster. The first name that comes to mind that Huberdeau could have edged out is Jeff Skinner. Skinner is obviously an elite talent, but come on, is he really worthy of an all-star game roster spot above Huberdeau?

Sure, Skinner potted 40 goals last season, but he only ended up with 63 points. Huberdeau, on the other hand, put up 92 points and a franchise record-breaking 62 assists.

On an Atlantic team with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Auston Matthews, Huberdeau’s passing ability would have been an absolute treat to watch.

Representing the Cats last year was Keith Yandle, who wasn’t necessarily a wrong choice, but he certainly wasn’t the clear-cut option. He put a personal-best 62 points from the blueline, but Huberdeau’s season was still far more memorable.

This could be the season that Huberdeau makes his way to St. Louis to participate in this year’s All-Star Game. You can expect him to keep his offensive numbers at around a point-per-game or better, and that should be enough for him to punch his ticket to St. Louis.

Here’s the issue, the Atlantic Division is absolutely stacked, so the Panthers may only get to send one player. If that’s the case, perhaps Aleksander Barkov finds himself as the Cat’s representative. I have a feeling that most fans would be okay with that, but it would be a shame to see Huberdeau snubbed once again.

It’s time the NHL gave Huberdeau the credit he deserves. Maybe it’s his cheap $5.9M contract that’s holding him back, but he plays like a $10M man. He is an all-star, and dare I say, a superstar.