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Huberdeau to stick with Florida for season

Jan 28, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT

Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at the BB&T Center on January 19, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The Florida Panthers have announced that rookie forward Jonathan Huberdeau will remain with the club for the rest of the regular season.

The news isn’t a huge surprise given Huberdeau — the third overall pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft — has been a major factor for the Panthers this year, scoring 1G-2A-3PTS in five games while averaging close to 16 minutes a night.

Huberdeau, 19, was eligible to return to his junior team in QMJHL Saint John this year. He played 30 games for the Sea Dogs during the lockout, scoring 16G-29A-45PTS in 30 games.

With forwards Stephen Weiss, Marcel Goc and Sean Bergenheim all injured, Florida will likely continue to use Huberdeau in an expansive role as it looks to rebound from a 1-4 start to the season.

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