Jonathan Huberdeau hasn’t been the best so far with the Calgary Flames. While he has looked better as of late, he still hasn’t played up to the star level he and everyone else were expecting. While the expectation was the story would be: “who fits with Huberdeau?” it has ended up as: “who does Huberdeau fit with?” He has played with abundant amount of players ranging from Elias Lindholm to Trevor Lewis.
Huberdeau’s production by line
Huberdeau has produced more with certain players, but it goes deeper than just points. Let’s take a look at some duos that Huberdeau has or could play with and which could be the best option. All stats looked at are at 5v5 and from NaturalStatTrick.com.
Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman
Huberdeau, Mikael Backlund, and Blake Coleman have played 55 minutes together and haven’t produced that much, only scoring two goals, but they do have some solid underlying numbers.
Together, the three have posted a 54.26 CF%, 57.16 xG%, 53.66 SCF%, and 61.54 HDCF%. While these are good numbers, I wouldn’t like Huberdeau to play with these two. Some people might disagree since Huberdeau has looked good with Backlund, but sticking your most skilled, offensive player with your two of your most defensively minded forwards isn’t a recipe for long-term success in my opinion.
Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli
The first two players Huberdeau played with on the Flames were Tyler Toffoli and Lindholm and everyone probably remembers that didn’t produce at 5v5. Although that it is true I think they deserve another look.
When they played together, they put up a 54.71 CF%, 58.04 xG%, 52.70 SCF%, and 60.00 HDCF% which are some solid numbers. They only produced one goal at 5v5 but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Their on-ice shooting percentage was 2.08% which is very low, and means they were very unlucky.
Lindholm and Toffoli are the Flames’ best finishers and Huberdeau is their best playmaker so they should eventually get some luck and start producing if you put them back together.
Nazem Kadri and Andrew Mangiapane
On paper it looks like it should work, Huberdeau is your playmaker, Nazem Kadri is your hard working power forward, and Andrew Mangiapane is your finisher. But when they were put together for a very brief amount of time, they were not good at all.
Not only did they not produce, they also had terrible underlying numbers. Atrocious numbers like 43.48 CF%, 23.58 xGF%, 31.58 SCF%, 28.57 HDCF% are not the key to success.
It makes sense why this line was broken up and probably shouldn’t be put back together any time soon.
Elias Lindholm and Adam Ruzicka
The first and only duo in this piece that Huberdeau hasn’t played with. Obviously he has played with Lindholm before, but he has yet to play with Adam Ruzicka. Lindholm and Ruzicka have looked good and have produced a solid amount and putting Huberdeau with them could make even more production. Putting these three together would give you the three types of players I really like together, the playmaker, finisher, and power forward.
This combination of these players is purely an idea and there’s no stats to back up that it would work, but I do think there’s the potential that if you put them together, all three could start producing a ton.
Which two players are the best fit for Huberdeau?
While you could try something completely new like Ruzicka and Lindholm, I think Lindholm and Toffoli are the best option to put Jonathan Huberdeau with. They have some good underlying numbers together and have the blueprint for success. I think if you put them back together, they’ll finally get some luck and all three players will produce the offence that the Flames so desperately need.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire