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2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats

Huberdeau wins Memorial Cup MVP

Monday, 05.30.2011 / 12:59 AM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Huberdeau wins Memorial Cup MVP
Jonathan Huberdeau took home MVP honors at the 2011 Memorial Cup.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Josee Blondin-Huberdeau was all smiles as she watched the parade of reporters lining up to speak to her son, Jonathan Huberdeau, after the Saint John Sea Dogs had just earned a 3-1 victory against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.
 
Blondin-Huberdeau stood approximately 30 feet from her son during a festive on-ice celebration. The 17-year-old sniper with the sick set of hands was holding court after it was just announced he had won the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP.
 
Huberdeau, who finished with 3 goals and 6 points in Saint John's four games, including an overtime winner last Monday against Owen Sound, certainly proved why he was rated No. 3 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in April. He's a surefire first-round draft choice on June 24 when the opening round of the NHL Entry Draft will be staged at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
 
By earning the MVP award, in fact, Huberdeau became the sixth forward in 12 years to be named MVP of his league playoffs and the Memorial Cup, joining Brad Richards (2000), Danny Groulx (2002), Derek Roy (2003), Corey Perry ('05) and Taylor Hall ('09).
 
"It's icing on the cake, but it was such a team effort," Huberdeau said of his MVP honor.
 

"Playing in the NHL is something he's always dreamed of since he was a little boy … I think everyone has thought of that. But he knows that even if he gets there, he has to work even harder to reach that. He's not finished when he arrives there."
-- Josee Blondin-Huberdeau

As his mother watched him field every question, she shook her head and smirked.
 
"We're really proud of him … I think he did something and had the disciplined and everything to do that," she told NHL.com. "The big thing for him is he wants to continue on. We helped him all we can to see him in Saint John and everywhere he played.
 
"Playing in the NHL is something he's always dreamed of since he was a little boy … I think everyone has thought of that. But he knows that even if he gets there, he has to work even harder to reach that. He's not finished when he arrives there."
 
Huberdeau is rated the first (No. 3) of nine Sea Dogs on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters. The native of Saint-Jerome, Quebec, led the team with 43 goals, 62 assists, 105 points and a plus-59 rating in 67 regular-season games. Huberdeau's point total was not only the third-highest in the QMJHL this season, but set a new franchise standard for points in a season, surpassing the former mark of 95 set by Chris DiDomenico in 2007-08.
 
In Sunday's Memorial Cup finale, Huberdeau chipped in with a goal and one assist.
 
"A lot of the teams are older than us and are stronger and more physical, but I thought when he had his chance to make his plays, he made great plays," Saint John coach Gerard Gallant said. "For a 17-year-old to be an offensive leader on your hockey club … he just makes the right plays at the right time."
 
When Saint John defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was told of Huberdeau's MVP honor, he offered his approval and congratulations.
 
"He deserves it," Beaulieu said. "He helped carry us at times … he's a special hockey player."
 
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale