Jonathan Huberdeau is bigger, healthier, and ready to go.
That’s the word out of Florida on Thursday as the reigning Calder Trophy winner — who underwent hip surgery in May — will be available when the Panthers open camp on Sept. 12.
“He’ll be ready for training camp,” Florida GM Dale Tallon told the Miami Herald.
Huberdeau, 20, spent a considerable amount of time rehabbing his hip this summer, and didn’t resume skating until Aug. 5. But he does appear to have put his off-ice time to good use — according to Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika, Huberdeau added 10 pounds of muscle to his frame.
That’s a big gain. Huberdeau played his rookie season at 6-foot-1, 177 pounds — yeah, pretty lanky — and the added bulk should help in his goal of improving all facets of his game.
“I want to help the team offensively and defensively,” he told NHL.com. “I just want to be a little bit more of a leader this year, since it is my second year.”
Should be noted that, like ’13 first-rounder Aleksander Barkov, Huberdeau is being held out of this weekend’s prospects tourney in Coral Springs, Fla.