Leading up to the 2011 draft, Flordiapanthers.com will be highlighting some of the top prospects to look out for. At number 3, the Panthers have a lot of players to choose from. What direction and who will they pick?
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THE SKINNY: The third ranked North American skater according to C.S.S., Jonathan Huberdeau worked his way up from fourth at the mid-term rankings. Huberdeau’s 105 points in 67 games this year was a single-season record for Saint John. He was first in the QMJHL with a plus-59 rating.
Even though his first language is French, Huberdeau chose to attend an English speaking high school to improve his academics and to help out if he made it to the NHL. Sometimes, his younger sister sings the national anthem before Sea Dogs’ home games.
NHL Central Scouting's Chris Bordeleau: “He's the type of player who can change the outcome of a game suddenly and quickly. He's displayed unbelievably quick hands and an ability to set up and score goals. He definitely has NHL hands and playmaking ability . . . he's also gritty and does not back down when challenged."
Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant: “He's still not the fastest, but I'd certainly label him the craftiest on our team. He's a quality, character kid. He competes both ways, battles for those goals around the net and competes hard in every situation. I can put Jonathan on the ice in any situation … the last minute of a game when we're behind by a goal or ahead by a goal. He comes to play every time. His vision is outstanding, he has great puck skills and I think he's the complete package."
NHL Team: Montreal Canadiens NHL Player: Mike Ribeiro & Jordan Staal Shootout Move: "Come down left side, fake backhand, go to forehand and shoot" Goal celebration: "Fist pump" TV Show: Entourage Sport (other than hockey): Tennis Superhero: Batman