Florida Panthers: Mike Hoffman is Having a Dynamic Second Half

Following a remarkable first season with the Florida Panthers in 2019, sniper Mike Hoffman is experiencing another tremendous season in 2020.

The 30-year-old native of Canada was previously acquired by the Florida Panthers from the San Jose Sharks during the summer of 2018. The former fifth-round pick of the Ottawa Senators has emerged into an elite sniper since becoming a member of the Florida Panthers.

Mike Hoffman experienced a breakout season in 2019 with the Cats. While participating in all 82 regular-season games, the durable Hoffman recorded a slash line of 36 goals as well as 34 assists for a career-high mark of 70 points.

Moreover, Hoffman would prove to be a reliable weapon on the man advantage last season. Essentially, Hoffman scored 17 of his 36 goals on the power play, playing a major role in Florida finishing with the second-best PP percentage in the National Hockey League during the 2018-19 campaign.

Despite a relatively slow start to the 2019-20 season, Hoffman has seemed to rediscover his form for the playoff-hopeful Cats. While participating in 49 games, the elite goal-scoring winger has registered a line of 18 goals, 22 assists, for 40 total points.

Currently, Hoffman is on pace for another 30+ goal and 60+ point season for the surging Panthers. Furthermore, Hoffman has certainly continued his success on the power-play for the offensively gifted Panthers squad.

No. 68 has scored 7 goals on the man advantage, contributing towards a lethal top unit which ranks in the top 10 among league-wide power-play percentages. The soon-to-be unrestricted free agent is making a strong case for the Panthers to offer him a long-term extension following the conclusion of the 2020 NHL season.

The offensively talented Hoffman has also improved drastically on the defensive side of the ice, as well. Last season, Hoffman registered an atrocious -24 rating as well as 98 giveaways to only 43 takeaways. However, during the 2020 season, Hoffman has gone on to record a +1 rating as well as only 43 giveaways to 20 takeaways.

The Ontario native has undoubtedly provided the Cats with a dependable option on the team’s top-nine forward unit. Despite averaging roughly 16:34 minutes per game, Hoffman is still making a positive impact on the team’s success. The Cats have a lethal power-play unit, which is largely in part because of Hoffman’s dangerous one-timer from the face-off circle and slot.

Additionally, the long-time Ottawa Senator has played a major role in helping the Panthers sit in a playoff spot before the All-Star break. His contributions on offense can sometimes be overshadowed by the success of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Evgenii Dadonov, but we should certainly acknowledge the value that Hoffman brings to the table.

Without the playmaking (recently, especially) and goal-scoring being provided by Mike Hoffman, the Florida Panthers would not be sitting in third in the Atlantic Division at this current moment. Ultimately, the Panthers will continue to depend on Hoffman to provide consistent offense throughout the remainder of the season.

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If Hoffman can finish the year with over 30 goals and over 60 points, then the Panthers will likely clinch a playoff berth for the first time in four years. 

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