Images property of Kim Smith (@kimsmithimages)
On Sunday night, Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist, giving him sole possession of the all-time franchise lead in points (420). Drafted 3rd overall in the 2011 NHL Draft, Huberdeau has played every game of his career in a Panthers uniform. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Huberdeau suggested he’d like to stay in South Florida for a while, maybe even for the rest of his career.
Huberdeau surpassed former Panther Olli Jokinen, who previously held the Cats record for goals and points, now only holds the goals record. Jokinen played 567 games in a Panthers sweater, while Huberdeau was able to break his record in just 512 appearances. At just 26 years of age, it’s apparent that Huberdeau will most definitely extend his franchise record points lead. The only imminent threat to Huberdeau at the top of the mountain is current teammate and line-mate Aleksander Barkov, who finds himself just 26 points behind Huberdeau at 458 games played. For a full list of Panthers All-Time Leaders, click here.
This brings fans to a realization that hasn’t been too frequent throughout Florida Panthers history, and that is the best has yet to come. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov will undoubtedly go down as two of the best players to ever dawn the Panthers jersey, and they’re 26 and 24, respectively. With so much ahead of them in their Cats careers, it’s impossible to not get excited thinking about the impact each can have in the history of Panthers hockey. Each has already created a name for themselves in the hockey media landscape, first as underrated players, now as bona fide superstars. Both players find themselves in the league’s top 15 in points and neither show signs of slowing anytime soon.
Their elite skill and talent is undeniable and gives the Panthers an edge necessary to hang around in today’s league. They combine to create a core as solid as any in the NHL. Shattering records at their young ages illustrates the brightest future Florida Panthers fans have ever seen. With such a lack of history to look back to, both Huberdeau and Barkov have a chance to etch their names as the best one-two punch this franchise has ever seen. Hopefully it’s not the only thing they’re etching their names into as members of the Panthers.
Thanks for reading this article! You can follow along with Panther Parkway @pantherparkway on Twitter! You can also follow our writers: @FrankRekas, @Josh_LOPanthers, @JacobWinans8, @prudentia0, @Spencer_hoag, @Mister_Joester! Make sure to follow and listen to our podcast @LOPanthersPod All images unless otherwise noted are courtesy of @KimSmithImages