24-Year-Old Left Wing – Florida Panthers
Jonathan Huberdeau Contract Information:
Signed a six-year contract extension with the Panthers worth $35.4 million in September of 2016.
Huberdeau potted two goals - including one on the power play - with a plus-1 rating on six shots in Saturday's 3-0 victory against the Sabres.
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Jonathan Huberdeau: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Huberdeau set career highs with 20 goals, 59 points and a plus-17 rating in 2015-16, and he should continue to grow along with the rest of Florida’s collection of talented young forwards. The third overall pick in 2011 offers a strong combination of upside and safety, as he’s already established himself as a solid two-way player despite his youth. The Quebec native saw his ice time spike by more than a minute last year, reflecting increased responsibility in all phases of the game. He projects to slot in as the first-line left wing for the Panthers, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Huberdeau top last year’s numbers in that role.
As the Calder Trophy Award winner from 2012-13, Huberdeau has already lived up to the promise of being the third overall pick in 2011. After a down sophomore season, Huberdeau bounced back in a huge fashion in 2014-15, seeing top-line ice time and scoring 15 goals and 39 assists and to lead the Cats with 54 points. At just 22 years old, Huberdeau has plenty of room to continue improving. A key contributor on the power play last season, Huberdeau failed to score a goal with the extra attacker, which drained his value a bit in leagues that weigh special-teams goals heavily. However, he did pick up 12 assists on the man advantage, so with a little more puck luck, look for him to bag some more power-play goals in the upcoming season. Huberdeau's overall goal-scoring upside is limited since he's preferred to set up teammates at every step of the ladder, but a huge jump in total points this season certainly isn't out of the question.
Coming off a spectacular rookie campaign in which he won the Calder Trophy, expectations for Huberdeau were very high last season -- perhaps too high. While he saw his point total fall to just 28 in 69 games in 2013-14, Huberdeau was coming off hip surgery last spring, which kept him out of the beginning of training camp and limited his explosiveness. Now healthy and reunited with his former junior hockey coach who helped mold his game for the NHL, Huberdeau will be searching for redemption. The combination of good health and a comfortable environment could help the young winger get back on track to fulfilling his potential as the team’s offensive star. If someone in your league is selling Huberdeau out of concern that he is a one-year wonder, take advantage and get him on your squad. He should be owned in every league and be a top-flight player in the coming years.
Huberdeau, the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, had a really nice rookie season with the Panthers in 2013, recording 14 goals and 17 assists while playing all 48 games. What made his season even more impressive was the fact that he put up those numbers while playing with a hip injury for the majority of the year. He's still just 20 years old, so it's reasonable to expect some improvement from year to year. He's a kid that most people probably haven't heard of because of the limited exposure the Panthers got last season, but there is a ton a fantasy potential to be had here.
Huberdeau, the third-overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, is ready to make the leap to the NHL after scoring 177 points (73 G, 104 A) in 104 games over the past two seasons with Saint John of the QMJHL. A budding power forward, Huberdeau has an excellent two-way game and is expected to be a top-six forward for the Panthers during the upcoming season. Huberdeau's solid offensive game has him as one of the better long-term keeper options out there and a potential steal on draft day, be prepared to call his name in keeper leagues.