Being the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Jonathan Huberdeau came into the league with massive expectations and shattered them all. The young star from Saint-Jérôme, Québec made a name for himself as one of their top players, not only currently, but in the history of the Florida Panthers organization.
Huberdeau came onto the scene during the shortened 2012-13 season due to the lockout, and in just his first game he started making heads turn. Not only did he score his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot, he finished the game with two assists to go with it. In that shortened season alone, he finished with 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) through 48 games, and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. That was the first time in franchise history that a player of theirs took home the piece of hardware.
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In the 2015-16 season, he got his first taste of playoff action after finishing the regular season with 59 points (20 goals, 39 assists) in 76 appearances. In six postseason games against the New York Islanders, he tallied three points (one goal, two assists), which set the foundation for his future playoff appearances. However, he was slightly set back the next season after sustaining an Achilles injury in a preseason game against the New Jersey Devils. That season, he appeared in 31 games, but piled up 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists).
In the 2018-19 season, he hit a new career high in points with 92 (30 goals, 62 assists). His 62 helpers set the record for the most assists in a single season in Panthers history. His point total was third all-time in franchise history, as he was only four points shy of tying his teammate, captain Aleksander Barkov, with 96 in the same season.
The next season, he became the franchise’s all-time scoring leader on Jan. 12, 2020 in an 8-4 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs, notching a goal and an assist. He still holds that lead today with 498 points (168 goals, 330 assists) in his decade in the league. In that shortened season, his performance earned him a spot in the 2020 All-Star roster as a Panther representative, the first selection of his career. That season also brought him postseason time, as he scored three points (one goal, two assists) through four games in the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round against the Islanders.
In his most recent season, he did not slow down, as he earned 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) in a shortened 55-game season. His team would make the playoffs and he would go on to score a whopping 10 points (two goals, eight assists) through six games against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Those totals are career highs in a postseason for him.
“Huby-Duby-Do” has already made history within the Panthers organization, and will be hungry for more in his upcoming tenth season.
“I think I proved to myself what I can do and the player I can be,” Huberdeau said at last month’s locker cleanout. “I showed I can be physical as well. I didn’t really know that I could do that, and I know I have a lot of things to look forward to this summer. … As you get older you’ve got to work even harder. Coming back next year, I want to be the same player but even better.”Jonathan Huberdeau, to NHL.com on next season
With the all the amazing things he’s done for Florida over the years, he should have his name sent to the rafters of the BB&T Center in the future. However, he is still young at the age of 28, and is in the prime of his career, so there’s still plenty more history for him to make as a Panther.
My name is Joey. I’ve been writing about the NHL for about 3 years with my experience spread out between TSJ 101 Sports and Panther Parkway. I look forward to you reading my articles!