by David Pavlak on 01/12/12 at 12:33 PM ET
For the time being forget Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. Year in and year out, Devils fans expect these three individuals to perform to the best of their abilities every game. Their season point totals should always hover above 80 points, and if they don’t, we all have something to say. However, there has been someone added to the team this year who has exceeded almost everyones expectations, and his name is Adam Henrique.
For the past couple of seasons, Henrique has found himself trapped in the AHL with the Albany Devils. His skills on the ice had not matured enough for the Devils to give him a true shot with the NHL squad. He was the type of player that would always hear, “maybe next year” after training camp had concluded. A lot of people believed that he had the skills to compete in the NHL, but for whatever reason, his game was not translating as fast as it potentially should have been.
Henrique was not even schedule to make this years Devils team. However, after injuries to Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefsson, the opportunity for Henrique to step into the lineup presented itself. Henrique was supposed to man the third or fourth line until Josefsson and Zajac returned, but Henrique took advantage of the situation, and now constantly bounces between the first and second lines.
Henrique was a pretty good player coming out of the OHL. I have included his stats below for the four year he played with Windsor Spitfires.
Season Team GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH
2006-2007 Windsor Spitfires-OHL 62 23 21 44 -17 20 8 3
2007-2008 Windsor Spitfires-OHL 66 20 24 44 17 28 8 0
2008-2009 Windsor Spitfires-OHL 56 30 33 63 39 47 8 1
2009-2010 Windsor Spitfires-OHL 54 38 39 77 38 57 13 0
Henrique found himself with the Albany Devils in 2010-11 where he 25 goals and 25 assists in 73 games played.
With Henrique stepping into Josefsson’s place, he has certainly impressed on the ice. Through 40 games, he has 13 goals and 21 assists. Henrique has scored four shorthanded goals for the Devils, which ties him for first in the league with Cal Clutterbuck. He also has three game winning goals.
Henrique is also making a strong push for the Calder Trophy. In the absence of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins due to injury, Henrique has thrusted himself up the rookie points ladder, currently siting just one point back of RNH who has 35 points. If Henrique can continue his incredibly strong campaign, he could find himself with the Calder at the end of the year.
With Zajac being shut down again by the Devils, Henrique will continue to be a permanent fixture in the lineup, and even possibly for seasons to come. Through all the troubles he has went through though to get here, this year is proving to be one of the best for Henrique. His ability to perform on the ice is making him a household name for Devils fans and around the NHL. With the return of Josefsson and Zajac when they are one hundred percent, the Devils will only grow into a more dangerous team.
What do you think of the play of Henrique halfway through the season?
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