Inside The Box: Jonathan Huberdeau may well be NHL’s most underrated star

Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Inside The Box is Puck Prose’s daily news bulletin, covering all the latest news and providing unique analysis and insight, while highlighting the NHL content you need in your lives.

Is Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau the most underrated star in the National Hockey League right now? It feels as though we don’t talk about him enough despite his brilliance, and we are going to dive into that on today’s edition of Inside The Box.

We are as guilty as anyone else when it comes to hyping the biggest stars in the game, with heavyweights in the ilk of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby getting plenty of coverage and rightly so. But what about Jonathan Huberdeau?

More from Puck Prose

Now, we’ve been here before with a Florida Panthers player with pivot Aleksander Barkov routinely flying under the radar, and it might have something to do with playing in that market, but there is no doubt that Huberdeau doesn’t get talked about enough.

Especially considering his current exploits.

I mean, the winger has been playing at an elite level for quite some time, including in 2018-19 when he recorded 92 points (30 G, 62 A) in 82 games, before following that up with 78 points (23 G, 55 A) in 69 games last year. That is some production and it led to the left-shot appearing in his first All-Star Game in 2020.

And Huberdeau is off to a pretty insane start this season with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 14 games, logging an average of 16:36 total ice time and leading the Panthers in points and power play points (9).

Is Jonathan Huberdeau one of the most underrated players in the NHL?

Basically, the 27-year-old continues to ride an upwards trajectory and he’s playing at the peak of his powers right now, propelling the Panthers to the top of the Central Division after tallying two goals and one assist in his team’s big win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

Now, granted, Huberdeau’s ridiculous current shooting percentage of 36.8 percent will almost certainly regress, but his career shooting percentage of 12.4 suggests that he will still shoot the puck at a high rate even if it isn’t at the current godly level that he’s currently doing it at.

But the point remains that Huberdeau has been absolutely outstanding for the Florida Panthers over the past few seasons, and he’s only getting better which is a scary thought for the rest of the league. So, why doesn’t he get more attention?

Now, it could just be me but it does seem as though that we don’t talk about him nearly as much as we do some other stars in the NHL. I mean, Huberdeau currently ranks 9th in scoring with 20 points, tied with the same amount as Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, although the players above him like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and maybe even Brock Boeser are talked about more.

Of course, McDavid is in a class of his own so deserves all the hype he gets, and you can put Matthews and Marner into that category too, along with Patrick Kane who is having a hell of a season despite being stuck in a pretty crap situation with the Chicago Blackhawks. But, there is no doubt that Huberdeau deserves more attention than he currently gets.

Jonathan Huberdeau (11)
Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Again, it might have something to do with the fact that he plays in a small market such as Florida for a team in the Panthers who naturally don’t inspire too many positive headlines, but Huberdeau has been a rising star for a few years now and he’s likely only going to keep on producing at a high-level given that he’s just hitting his prime.

And he’s also ridiculously entertaining and fun to watch. Just watch the above clip where he was sent in on a breakaway, slowing down at just the right point before pulling off an absolutely filthy move to score the game-winner in Overtime.

Then, before that, Huberdeau displayed his insane skill level and high hockey IQ in one beautiful package as he spun his man before sending an absolutely bonkers but stellar backhand pass over to Alexander Wennberg for the game-tying goal.

It was just a stellar move from a stellar player and Jonathan Huberdeau is playing some of the best hockey of his career right now, so it is only right that we talk about him a bit more and maybe one day, like teammate Aleksander Barkov, he can shed the underrated tag and claim a status that is more befitting of his talent level. Because, at the moment, he is one of the most underrated stars in the National Hockey League and that just isn’t right.

Next. 3 things NYR need to do to turn it around. dark

Other Content

They are off to a pretty incredible start in 2020-21, but how should we feel about the Florida Panthers?

The New York Islanders pride themselves on elite goalie tandems, and they appear to have that now with their current duo.

They may not have a loaded farm system but here are the top 8 prospects New York Islanders fans can get excited about.