SUNRISE — Jonathan Huberdeau etched his name into the Florida Panthers record book once again on Thursday, breaking the franchise’s single-season assist record.
With four assists in a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Huberdeau brought his season assist total up to 64, breaking the previous record of 62.
Any guesses as to whom Huberdeau replaced in the record book?
Himself, of course.
“It’s been a good year. I feel we’re getting points, everybody’s getting points on our team,” said Huberdeau, who set the previous mark in 2018-19.
“We have a lot of depth. It’s just been a fun year. Obviously, we’re scoring a lot of goals. Tonight, I was just happy to get the two points. The franchise record doesn’t really matter.”
Said Sam Reinhart: “It’s fun to watch and it’s even more fun to be a part of it. I’ve always known what he’s capable of and to see it on a nightly basis is pretty exciting. You look at him leading the way and the depth following, it’s a fun way to play.”
Reinhart was on the receiving end of three of Huberdeau’s four primary assists on Thursday.
Huberdeau, unselfishly, made sure he was able to complete the hat trick. He passed up on an empty net goal in favor of passing the puck to Reinhart so he would be able to complete the hat trick.
“Before I shot it, I was like ‘if you’re open, I will pass it to you. I saw him coming and it was great,” Huberdeau said.
“He has been playing so well this year and he obviously scored two goals, so to have him finish it up with the hatty is fun.”
That fourth assist of the game also brought Huberdeau’s points total to 82 on the season, grabbing the league-lead in the process.
“Huberdeau knows what’s going on all the time, he’s an extremely unselfish player,” coach Andrew Brunette said.
“You don’t have 64 assists without being very aware, very perceptive, highly intelligent and unselfish and he demonstrated all of those things tonight.”
In what has become an MVP-type campaign, there are more franchise milestones that await Huberdeau.
With 23 games left in the 2021-22 season, Huberdeau is 15 points away from breaking Sasha Barkov’s single-season points record from 2018-19 and 20 points away from becoming the first player in Panthers history to score 600 points with the team.
To put that last one into perspective, he hit 500 points on Oct. 17.
“It’s a treat. Honestly, he’s one of the most gifted players in this league,” Bennett said when asked about playing with Huberdeau.
“In my mind, he’s the best playmaker in the league without question. To be able to play with him makes playing the game a lot easier and a lot more fun. I’m just going to keep playing, ride it out with him, and play with him for as long as I can because it’s a blast.”