Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Mike Hoffman was drafted 130th overall by Ottawa Senators in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. After an eight-year stint within the Senators organization, Hoffman was traded to the San Jose Sharks. Shortly after Mike Hoffman was acquired by the Florida Panthers. Those trades came just hours apart. Since then, Hoffman has been able to establish himself as an offensive weapon and power-play specialist in Florida. While the Panthers have not gotten off to the start they were expecting, Hoffman’s red-hot start has allowed for some peace of mind within the panther’s locker-room.
Over his career, Hoffman has a total of 430 games played with 148 goals and 160 assists, for a total of 308 points. While most of those points came with the Senators, it took Hoffman a few years before he was able to prove that he was ready for the NHL ranks. Four years of constant up and down between the NHL, AHL, and even the ECHL. Hoffman needed some time to discover an attribute that would set him apart.
The Journey South
Since joining the Florida Panthers, Hoffman has been able to prove he was worth the trade. Playing 88 games with the Panthers, scoring 41 goals and 37 assists for a total of 78 points. Before his breakout season with the Panthers, Hoffman came close to breaking that 30-goal mark a few times, yet, it wasn’t until he got to South Florida that he has been able to showcase his true talent.
Establishing himself with one of the quicker releases in the league, Hoffman has shown that he has what it takes to separate from the rest. Since his acquisition, the Panthers have been able to put together one of the most dominant power plays in the NHL. That same season Hoffman put up his career-high in goals and points, 36 goals and a total of 70 points. Leaving him tied for third-most in points with Evgenii Dadonov, trailing only Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.
In the 2018-19 season, the Florida Panthers had the second-best powerplay in the league, finishing with 26.8 percent. A lot of that was to the credit of Mike Hoffman, In that season, Hoffman led the Panthers in power-play points, 17 power-play goals, and 18 power-play assists, for a total of 35 points on the power play. Since the new season has started Hoffman has already recorded three points on the power-play.
With all the offensive additions this off-season like Noel Acciari and Brett Connolly, the Panthers have had more room than before to be able to play with the lines. With more depth upfront Hoffman has been able to pick up right where he left off. In the first six games, Mike Hoffman leads the Florida Panthers in points with a total of eight points; five goals and three assists. A better bottom-six has allowed Hoffman to gather ice-time between the first and second lines, averaging one of the higher totals for ice-time on the offence. Breaking the 30-goal mark for the first time last season, some were wondering if it was a fluke. Yet, Hoffman has not missed a stride, showing he is here to stay as a highly productive forward for the Florida Panthers.
Main Photo: NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 27: Mike Hoffman #68 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 27, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Panthers 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)