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Huberdeau Making Charge At Top Spot

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs

Name: Jonathan Huberdeau
Team: Saint John Sea Dogs
Hometown: St-Jerome, PQ
Position: Centre
Height: 6’, 1”
Weight: 171 lbs
2010-2011: 67 games, 43 goals, 62 assists, 105 points, 88 PIMs
Final Central Scouting Ranking for N. A. Skaters: 3

It’s a question Saint John Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant gets all the time. Which NHLer from his sterling career would he compare with his best player Jonathan Huberdeau?

“I try to answer that but I can’t,” said Gallant who played with Red Wings Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman and docked four straight seasons of 30 goals or more.

“You can’t say Yzerman, they were different kind of players but they both had the same kind of desire and competitiveness. You hear our players comparing the Jonathan with Jonathan Toews. I don’t really need to attach someone else’s name to him. He is a great player in his own right.”

Huberdeau was rated third by Central Scouting but his strong play in the Memorial Cup may spark a rethink o f his positioning behind Red Deer’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Swedish defenceman Adam Larsson.

Surprising then that Huberdeau says he has spent most of his hockey playing years as a secondary weapon.

“I wasn’t the best player on a lot of the teams I played for. I spent a lot of time trying to work hard and catch up to these guys.  It’s nice to be noticed but you can only do what you can do. After that you see what happens.”

And on the Sea Dogs?

“Here, there are a lot of good players,” he said. “I’m not the best player. Everyone has talent and everyone has something to bring to the team.”

Huberdeau says he models his game of that of former Rimouski Oceanic star Vincent Lecavalier. He finds more joy in setting up a joy than scoring one.

“I like to set up a guy. Scoring a goal is great but I was always a guy who enjoyed setting up a guy."

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