Jonathan Huberdeau is on fire this season. That much is obvious. But, Iâ€™m not sure anyone around the league expected him to get quite this hot. Through 38 games, the man known as Huby has posted 16 goals and 37 assists for a total of 53 points. He leads the Panthers in all three of those categories. Heâ€™s been simply unstoppable this year on the offensive end of the ice so itâ€™s no surprise that heâ€™s been awarded a spot on the Atlantic Division roster for the All-Star Game in St. Louis.
Astonishingly, this will be Huberdeauâ€™s first appearance at the All-Star game in his 8-year career. That may be surprising to some given the fact that he has a 92-point season as well as a Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) on his career checklist. Itâ€™s been a long time coming for him, with many people expecting him to represent the Panthers last year, but he is certainly deserving and this was long overdue. Now, if he could just find that elusive first career hat trick…
What to expect
Everyone knows Huberdeau has elite skill, so expect to see his skill and creativity on full display in the shootout challenge event and possibly the puck-handling obstacle course. But, what Iâ€™m most excited to see Huberdeau participate in is the passing course. Last yearâ€™s passing challenge appeared impossibly difficult, but Huberdeau is one of the best passers in the world, and easily one of the best I have ever seen. He might really open some eyes during that contest. And of course, he will be must-see TV in the 3-on-3 game itself. Heâ€™s as flashy a player as youâ€™ll find with his ridiculous offensive ability and this should be his time to wow the hockey world.
But What About Barkov?
Sasha Barkov didnâ€™t make it to the All-Star Game this year on the regular ballot, but the NHL is once again opening the “Last Man In” vote this Wednesday to allow one more player on each roster. Barkov is the candidate on that ballot for the Panthers and itâ€™s up to everyone to vote for him! Barkov has had a dominant season in his own right, despite the slow start, as he is currently sitting at 13 goals and 32 assists for a total of 45 points in 38 games. Barkov and Huberdeau are one of the very best duos you will ever see, so itâ€™s only right that we send them to St. Louis together. Donâ€™t forget to vote for Barkov as soon as voting opens and until it closes. Panther Territory will be better for it with our two biggest superstars in the national spotlight for everyone to see. Both players are more than deserving of the honor.
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