Jonathan Huberdeau Igniting the Panthers’ Second Line, and Other Hot Lines

by Brennan Des on February 6, 2018
  • Lining Up
  • Jonathan Huberdeau Igniting the Panthers’ Second Line, and Other Hot Lines

 

This week we stop in the warm state of Florida and the cold province of Manitoba, where a couple of line have been hot.

 

Jonathan HuberdeauVincent TrocheckDenis Malgin

 

Team ES Point Production: 14 | Line ES Point Production: 7 (50% of team) | Corsi For%: 56.19

 

While the Aleksander Barkov – Jonathan Huberdeau – Evgenii Dadonov line has been Florida’s best this season, they were recently split up in an attempt to generate secondary scoring. The ‘Huberdeau half’ has been particularly successful, generating six goals while allowing only one. Let’s take a look at how the individual pieces have contributed to a successful whole…

 

Vincent Trocheck was drafted in just 22% of Yahoo! Leagues this season, with an average pick of 169. Considering he sits 33rd in league scoring now, and his ownership has risen to 82%, it’s safe to say he has surpassed preseason expectations. In case ownership and draft rankings don’t mean much to you, I’ll remind you that he has 47 points in 50 games. You know who else has 47 points on the season? Vladimir Tarasenko and Tyler Seguin, and they needed more games to reach that total. His power play ice-time has jumped from 2:44 last season to 3:31 this season. His overall ice-time is up a whole minute. His shooting percentage is sustainable. He Tro-checks all the boxes! I think it’s safe to say he gets drafted in more than 22% of leagues next year.

 

While a leg injury might have kept Jonathan Huberdeau out of sight and out of mind last season, he’s reminding us just how talented he is with this season’s performance. He’s on pace for 83 points, which would be a career-high. He’s on pace for 201 shots, which would be a career-high. He’s averaging 3:28 on the power play – a career high. Those 19 minutes and 49 seconds of ice-time? That’s a career-high too. In many ways, the 24-year-old Huberdeau has become who the Panthers thought he would be when they drafted him third overall in 2011.

 

We were one letter away from a Huberdeau – Trocheck – Malkin line. Can you imagine? No disrespect to 21-year-old Malgin of course, as he continues to develop alongside a talented core in Florida. His ice-time is still limited this season, but with four points in his last five games, he has contributed to this line’s success. Since we haven’t seen a lot of him at the NHL level, I’ll pull up his 2015 scouting report from the talented folks at Dobber Prospects.

 

Malgin’s an intelligent and patient attacker with paralyzing one-on-one skills. He’s far from a complete player but it’s not due to ineptness.

 

That’s just a brief taste of what Dobber’s prospect coverage offers, I encourage you to check it out yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikolaj EhlersBryan LittleMathieu Perreault

 

Team ES Point Production: 14 | Line ES Point Production: 5 (36% of team) | Corsi For%: 61.95

 

While Blake Wheeler has received a lot of praise for his performance in Mark Scheifele’s absence, the team’s second line has quietly contributed to Winnipeg’s winning ways. As a trio they have thoroughly out chanced their opponents, generating 44 high danger opportunities while allowing just 25. With Scheifele out of the lineup, opposing teams sent their best defensive units to shut down this line, so expect them to draw slightly easier matchups when Scheifele returns.

 

At the young age of 21, Nikolaj Ehlers already has a 60-point season behind him and another one within reach. While his ice-time is down a minute from last season, he has improved in the goal-scoring department. While he isn’t being utilized as much on the power-play, he has matched last season’s power play point total (12) in 29 fewer games. Drafted ninth overall in 2014, Ehlers has been developing his defensive game to compliment his offensive skillset, and Coach Paul Maurice has noticed.

 

“He's been — I'm trying not to exaggerate this too much — fantastic relative to where he was. But even in non-relative terms, he's been very effective in the defensive parts of the game."

 

While Bryan Little’s offensive output hasn’t been as impressive as previous seasons, it’s hard to criticize him when the Jets own the third best record in the NHL (31-13-9). It’s interesting to note that Little is getting a point on just 58.5% of goals scored while he’s on the ice. That percentage has been in the 70s over the past four seasons, so maybe we see an increase in his numbers going forward.

 

Mathieu Perreault’s fantasy value might not be widely recognized because he hasn’t played a full season in his career, so his point totals are slightly underwhelming. However, if you focus on his point pace last season, you’ll see he was on track for 57 points over 82 games. His point pace this season would have resulted in 62 points over 82 games, that’s worthy of more than 29% ownership in Yahoo! Leagues, right? While there might be some line shuffling when Scheifele returns (line Scheifeling?), I’d expect Perreault to stay in the top-six going forward.

 

 

Quick Notes

 

Gabriel Landeskog – Alexander Kerfoot – Mikko Rantanen

 

Alexander Kerfoot will have big shoes to fill as he takes over for Nathan MacKinnon who’s out with an upper-body injury. Kerfoot is owned in just 10% of Yahoo! Leagues, but I don’t see this line being as successful without its Hart Trophy candidate who had a primary point on nearly one third of the team’s goals!

 

 Anthony BeauvillierJohn TavaresJosh Bailey

 

I was wondering where Beavillier would play once Andrew Ladd returned to the lineup, and it looks like he’s been promoted to the top line. Anders Lee was moved down to the second line with Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle, Lee broke a five-game pointless streak shortly afterwards. Ladd has three points in two games since returning, maybe Brock Nelson and Cal Clutterbuck are good line mates for him! The Islanders have scored eight goals in two games since these line changes, let’s see what that means for the future!

 

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