In their latest rankings of top wings in the league today, NHL Network ranks former Florida Panthers’ star Jonathan Huberdeau above his replacement, Matthew Tkachuk.
Offseason rankings are, by their very nature, subjective.
They are a way to pass the time before a season starts, try and create some discussion.
Certainly, this one will do just that.
Could Matthew Tkachuk end up being a better player moving forward than Jonathan Huberdeau?
Is he right now.
Like, right this second?
Huberdeau, as most Florida fans know, is coming off a career-best season in what has been a pretty solid career.
At 29, Huberdeau is just taking off as a NHL star.
Yet so is Tkachuk.
Last season, the 24-year-old also had a career season with 42 goals and 104 points.
It was the second NHL season in which he eclipsed 30 goals but the first in which he surpassed 100 points.
Of course, Huberdeau’s 112-point season was his first trip past the century mark as well.
Tkachuk came to the Panthers in a blockbuster deal in which Florida sent Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar and a future first-round draft pick to the Calgary Flames.
He signed an eight-year deal with the Panthers — with Huberdeau doing the same in Calgary a few weeks later.
In the NHL rankings, Huberdeau is ranked No. 5 among all NHL forwards (Alex Ovechkin is No. 1).
He is at No. 12.
“We’re fond of referring to him as a unicorn and I think he really is that,’’ Stu Grimson of the NHL Network said of Tkachuk.
“You rarely see this high skill level fitted with this kind of bite in a single package. There’s a whole lot of physical component to the Matthew Tkachuk package as well. …
“This is a young guy, I don’t know if we’ve seen the ceiling, and I really have high expectations for what he’ll bring to mix as he transfers over to the Eastern Conference.”
So do the Panthers.
NHL NETWORK TOP 20 NHL WINGERS
- Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
- Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
- Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Jonathan Huberdeau, Calgary Flames
- Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
- Johnny Gaudreau, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers
- Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
- Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
- David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
- Matthew Tkachuk, Florida Panthers
- Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets
- Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars
- Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
- Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators
- Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
- Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
- Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights