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It’s official: Panthers sign Huberdeau, ‘another important piece of our team’s young core’

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders - Game Six

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New York Islanders in Game Six of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 24, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders won the game 2-1 in double overtime to win the series four games to two. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Florida Panthers made Jonathan Huberdeau’s six-year contract extension official today. The 23-year-old forward will have a cap hit of $5.9 million starting in 2017-18 and all the way through 2022-23.

“Jonathan is a highly talented and dynamic player who is another important piece of our team’s young core,” said Panthers president of hockey ops Dale Tallon in a release. “In each of his last two seasons he has posted over 50 points and has developed into a key component of our team’s offense.”

Huberdeau was the third overall draft pick in 2011. He joins Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith, and Aaron Ekblad in the group of young Panthers that’s been signed long term. Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, Roberto Luongo, and James Reimer are also locked into long-term deals.

Now it’s time to match all the hype with some postseason success. The Panthers are clearly on the rise, but they still haven’t won a playoff series since their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1996.

“There’s a core of players here that know: we’ve given you great teammates, we’re going to add people as the opportunities arise,” co-owner Doug Cifu told Yahoo Sports in July, “but it’s up to you guys to come together as a team and win multiple Stanley Cups and that’s the plan.”