Look up, way up, and you’ll find Jonathan Huberdeau.
The meteoric rise of Huberdeau has become a major storyline for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota.
The super skilled Saint John Sea Dogs centre started the season seen as a mid-second round prospect late last summer to now jumping up to second overall on FC’s April rankings, a jump which has to be considered one of the most dramatic ascensions in recent draft history.
To compare, Boston Bruin rookie Tyler Seguin, who many considered to be a big time riser in his draft season, was already seen as a top-20 selection before rising to challenge Taylor Hall for first overall last year.
Huberdeau’s season started off very strong and the production did not let up as he maintained a high scoring rate from start to finish. He was a key cog in leading his team to the CHL’s best regular season record as the Sea Dog’s only lost seven times in regulation all season long.
His production of 105 points in 67 games was behind only the OHL’s Ryan Strome, who started off the year hot before coming back down to earth and the WHL’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the projected top prospect in the entire draft. Each tallied 106 points.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, the St Jerome, QC. native has set the QMJHL on its ear with his performance in the playoffs. At current tally, the six-foot-one forward leads the league in postesason goals with 10 and is second in overall scoring with 19 points in just eight games.
Huberdeau’s skyrocketing rise has everything to do with his constantly improved play and development both on and off the ice. With the slightest of margin separating the #2 prospect and the #6 prospect available on most lists for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the only real separating factor is a prospects perceived potential role they will fill at the NHL level. FC has seen enough of Jonathan Huberdeau to believe he has all the tools to become a #1 NHL scoring centre when he fully develops.
While not 100% physically mature, Huberdeau does have elite hands, a very effective skating stride complimenting excellent vision and a high compete level to thrive even if a team decides they need him in their line-up next season.
For these reasons Jonathan Huberdeau is now seen as the second best prospect available in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Dan Stewart is the scouting director of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!