Nick Bjugstad quietly putting together a solid season

When the Florida Panthers decided to let 30 goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault and one time 25 goal scorer Reilly Smith go to the Vegas Golden Knights, there was a lot of controversy as the Panthers had decided to protect struggling Nick Bjugstad. After a 24 goal season in 2014-15, injuries plagued Bjugstad, causing him to fall to 15 goals in 2015-16 and a terrible 7 goal season in 2016-17. However, Bjugstad has 9 points in 18 games this year and is doing a very solid job defensively. Bjugstad is looking like a completely different player. When he isn’t standing out well, he is not making too many mistakes. For the first time in his career, Bjugstad is a plus player with a +2 which is a 21 point improvement from last year when he had a career worst plus/minus of -19. Although not as electrifying as the top line or Vincent Trocheck, Bjugstad is earning his money and is doing his job. As long as he can stay healthy, he will reach his full potential. Bjugstad is also 2nd on the team in faceoff percentage at 59.13% which is just behind LW Jonathan Huberdeau at 61.9%.