by PuckStopsHere on 11/13/11 at 08:07 PM ET
From early in the season, Toronto Marlie players Joe Colborne and Joey Crabb led the AHL in scoring. Crabb was called up to the big league Toronto Maple Leafs leaving Colborne in the scoring lead. Colborne has suffered an “upper body” injury and has missed his last two games. This opened the door for another player to take over the AHL scoring lead. TJ Hensick of the Peoria Rivermen has done this. He has 21 points in 15 games so far.
Hensick is a St Louis Blue prospect. He was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2005. He played 99 games with the Avs over three seasons but was unable to earn a regular roster spot. In 2010 he was traded to St Louis for Julian Talbot, who has yet to play an NHL game. Hensick has spent most of his time in the Blues system in the AHL, but has 13 NHL games last season.
He has been a very good player at the AHL level. He has 221 points in 194 games at that level. He has 38 points in 112 NHL games. This lower total at the NHL level largely is due to lack of opportunity. He hasn’t been given much of a chance to play frontline minutes or power play time. I think he could score if given a chance at the NHL level.
The problem is that Hensick is a small player. He isn’t very physical. He isn’t a strong defensive player. Thus he must be able to justify his presence in the NHL with his offence. Thus far he hasn’t been given the chance. It will be interesting to see if St Louis gives him that chance.
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