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Young Gun Q&A: Jonathan Huberdeau

The Panthers forward talks about his first two years in the league, what he does in his free time and more.

Sunday, 03.2.2014 / 11:20 AM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Young Gun Q&A: Jonathan Huberdeau
SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 6: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers battles with Brendan Smith #2 of the Detroit Red Wings at the BB&T Center on February 6, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Panthers young gun forward discusses his transition from juniors to the pros, speaking French with Drew Shore, what he likes to do on his off days and more.

Almost two years in the league now, what has been the biggest transition for you been coming from juniors?

Huberdeau - It's a different league. In the NHL, you come in against stronger players and older players. It's really a different game the execution is really difficult to adjust to from juniors. As a player you have to be more consistent. In juniors you will sometimes have some easy games as there are some teams that aren't that good that season. Here, all the teams are good and every game you have to give your best to be able to compete.

Has it been what you expected?

Huberdeau - No of course not. You want to be a big part of a team and I want to be a big part of this team but I haven't had the season that I wanted this season so far. We have 21 more games left so I have to show what I can do, just start slowly and get back at it and just be happy at the end of the season of what I accomplished the last 21 games.

Is there anything that you're focusing on these last 20-plus games?

Huberdeau -  I think it's just to keep my game more simple, play better defensively. That's where you have to start with by limiting the turnovers. That's what it starts with, when you play good defensively it seems to always leads to the offensive part of the game. I watch all the guys and some guys have been having great seasons on our team and I try to watch them and do the same little things that they are doing right and keeping it simple. It's frustrating at the same time because last year I did really well and this year it's not the same. I just have to bring my confidence back.

Seeing the other Young Guns such as Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov before he got hurt have the success they are having, how great is it to see this young nucleus start to take shape?

Huberdeau - Yeah. You have to be satisfied with that. It's nice to see. We have a lot of young guys and we're all going to be the future. I think it's important that the young guys do well and it's nice to see those guys have good seasons. Unfortunately for Barkov he got injured but he's had a good season so far. Even Nick, we know he's a good player. He's really fast so he shows that out on the ice. Other players like Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen, they're going to be the future in this organization along with Drew Shore and Erik Gudbranson. There's a lot of young guys.

Rooming with Drew last year, he said he would only speak with you in French, what was that like?

Huberdeau - It was pretty funny. I always tell him to only speak English because I couldn't understand one word he was saying in French. Some sentences it was good and I could understand but it was probably not the proper French he was speaking. I was trying to teach him a little bit. He's fun. He's a good guy and I enjoyed being his roommate last year.

You have an off day. How are you spending it?

Huberdeau - I just try to relax as much as possible and go golfing or go to the beach. It's never the same thing. I try to sleep in too. There are times you will lose your sleep so you try to make it up on your days off.

Any TV shows that you're watching now?

Huberdeau - Breaking Bad. I've been watching that and I'm probably going to start watching Suits.

What's your favorite South Florida hot spot?

Huberdeau - I like Cafe Europa on Los Olas.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01

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