Sports

Huby Dooby Doo: Panthers Winger Deserves Your Attention

Jonathan Huberdeau is having a career year. Through his first 35 games this season, he has scored 13 goals and recorded 33 assists, putting him on pace to record 108 points this season. Currently tied with Nazem Kadri for fourth in the league in points, behind Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, and Alex Ovechkin, Huby is shaping up to make a run at the Hart Memorial Trophy, the NHL’s Most Valuable Player award. Join me as I take you on a guided tour of the career of Jonathan Huberdeau.

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ST PAUL, MN – JUNE 24: (L-R) Third overall pick Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers, first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers and second overall pick Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche pose for a photo during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011, in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
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SUNRISE, FL – JANUARY 19: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 (Center) is congratulated after scoring his first goal as a Florida Panthers against the Carolina Hurricanes during the season’s opener at the BB&T Center on January 19, 2013, in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Early Years

Drafted third overall by the Panthers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Jonathan Huberdeau net a goal and added two assists in his NHL debut against the Carolina Hurricanes at the ripe old age of 19 years and 229 days old, on January 19, 2013. He scored 24 goals and 17 assists in his rookie season. He finished the shortened season in a tie for the league lead in games played, having played in all 48 of the teams’ games. Huby earned himself a spot on the 2012-13 NHL All-Rookie Team and won the prestigious Calder Memorial Trophy, the NHL’s Rookie of the Year award.

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SUNRISE, FL – OCTOBER 16: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers acknowledges the crowd after his franchise-record 500th point during the second period against the New York Islanders at the FLA Live Arena on October 16, 2021, in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Consistent Improvement

The 28-year-old French-Canadian left-winger has continued to surpass his personal bests throughout his ten-year career. Playing almost every game, it’s rare not to see his name in the lineup for the Panthers. Since missing most of the 2016-17 season with a lower-body injury, Huby has only missed one game. He quickly snagged the franchise lead with 544 career points. This is significantly more than the previous leader Olli Jokinen‘s 419 points. He is continually improving at a steady pace, scoring points at a faster clip this season than he ever has ever before.

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SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 29: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers crosses sticks with Nils Lundkvist #27 of the New York Rangers at the FLA Live Arena on December 29, 2021, in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Big Games And Slick Plays

Huby is becoming well known for his multi-point games. In the 2021 calendar year, he tallied five points in a game four times, the most in the league. He has recorded eight four-point games in his career thus far, five of them coming in the 2019 calendar year. His “spin-o-rama” passes and his slick wrist shot set him apart from most others in the league.

SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 14: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his goal during the first period against Goaltender Anton Forsberg #31 and Artem Zub #2 of the Ottawa Senators at the FLA Live Arena on December 14, 2021, in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

#Huby4Hart?

So now for the campaign. Why should Jonathan Hubderdeau win the Hart Memorial Trophy? The essential part of Huberdeau’s play is his selflessness. Notice how he doesn’t have many multi-goal games. He racks up his points by feeding his teammates and creating chances for THEM to score. He is a team player in the truest sense. Let’s hope he stays in South Florida for years to come.

Thank you for reading my latest article for Belly Up Sports! You can follow me on Twitter at @Trainboy100! And you can find other great articles about the NHL throughout the Belly Up Sports site!




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