Adam Henrique: From Prospect to Full Time New Jersey Devil

Every year fans hope to see the Devils' home grown talent reach their potential in the NHL.  As fans, we wait while our favorite youngsters develop and mature in hopes that one day they may be the next Mario Lemieux or Scott Stevens.  Some of us may even buy a Niclas Bergfors jersey prematurely, (I may be guilty).  Coming out of training camp all the hub-bub was on rookie defensman Adam Larsson.  Larsson is having a great season so far, but there is another rookie capturing Devil's fans praise.  

All this buzz is surrounding center Adam Henrique.  Henrique  didn't quite make the team out of training camp; although the Devils were without a number one center due to Travis Zajac's injury.  All eyes were on Jacob Josefson to fill that void.  In October Josefson went down with an untimely injury and Henrique got called up to fill the gaping hole at center.

Through ten games, Henrique has shown that he is ready to fulfill his potential and play in the NHL.  I'll take a look at Henrique's amateur background and how he is faring at the NHL level this season.

Henrique played four seasons with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, racking up 228 points in 238 games.  Henrique averaged almost a point a game in the regular season for the Spitfires and went plus 77 in his OHL career.  Clearly Henrique was showing some offensive prowess in the OHL by compiling 111 goals.  He scored 70 even strength goals, 37 power play goals, 4 shorthanded goals and 7 game winning goals.

What really sticks out to me is how consistent Henrique is even under pressure, Henrique played 44 OHL playoff games and scored 30 goals and added 17 assists.  If that wasn't pressure enough, Henrique also played 10 Memorial Cup games, tallying 8 goals and 9 assists.  Of course, Henrique was playing with Taylor Hall, who is a pretty darn good player at the NHL level so far.   Henrique shows throughout his OHL career that he can put points on the board; but, does his offensive ability transfer to the AHL?  Let's take a look.

Henrique was drafted by the Devils in the 3rd round (82nd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  He finished up his career in the OHL and played the 2010 - 2011 season with the Albany Devils of the AHL. Henrique managed to put up 25 goals and 25 assists in 73 games.  His goals broke down to 16 at even strength, 8 on the man advantage, 1 shorthanded and 5 game winners.  For a first year AHLer, this was a great season and shows that Henrique will be ready for action in the big league in the next year or two.  Henrique was called up to the New Jersey Devils in the 10-11 season for one game.  He managed 3 shots on goal and 13 minutes of ice time, nothing too flashy.

Adam Henrique

Season

GP

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

Corsi

2011-2012

10

4

3

7

1

0

-6.19

This season Henrique has made the most of his chance with the Devils.  Henrique has broken out with 4 goals and 3 assists in 10 games.  Right when the Devils needed a player to step up and perform at the NHL level, Henrique did just that and has shown that the Devils can still draft and develop talent.  Henrique has also been disciplined, taking zero penalty minutes and sporting a +1.  As we all know, the Devils organization puts emphasis on discipline, so Henrique is definitely making a good impression on Lou and company. 

The reason Henrique has been making fans swoon over him is that he has two clutch game winning goals.  He beat Ondrej Pavelec with a backhander in the second period and beat him again with a beautiful shot on a breakaway in overtime to lead the Devils to a win. He then followed that performance by a wraparound goal on Cam Ward late in the third period of Tuesday's game vs. the Carolina Hurricane.

Henrique has been averaging 15 minutes of ice time per game and has a corsi of about - 6.  This may not be the strongest corsi, but nothing to worry about.  Henrique is doing well on faceoffs, overall he is 54/104 (51.9%) and in the offensive zone he is 18/36 (50%).  He really excels in the defensive zone where he is 20/32 (62.5%).  Henrique could help bolster the already impressive penalty kill with his speed and faceoff talents. On the PK he is 5/5 in the defensive zone and gets about a minute and a half per game on the PK.

Another impressive number for Henrique's resume is that he is +5 in scoring chances while on the ice.  The scoring chances are without the Winnipeg and Carolina games, so I assume the number will be even better given Henrique is playing on the top line and creating plenty of scoring chances.  We can also see that Henrique had 9 scoring chances with 7 of them making it on net.  So Henrique is creating plenty of scoring chances and has cashed in on 4 of them.  Not to be casted aside, he also has 6 chance assists.  Therefore we can see that Henrique and his line mates may have negative corsis, but they are taking better shots than their opponents.

Looking at all these statistics I like to believe that Henrique is here to stay.  However, I believe there are two key questions left to ask:

1. Can Henrique keep this up through the 82 game season? He has done it through 10 games, will he fizzle out by the all-star break?

 2. Which line will he center once Zajac and Josefson come back from their injuries? I feel a lot of line changes coming on in 3-4 months once we have Zajac, Henrique, and Josefson down the center.

Most of these stats were compiled from behindthenet , hockey-reference , and of course a big thanks to C.J. for compiling the scoring chances.

How do you feel as a fan? Is Henrique really here to stay or do you believe he got a few lucky bounces at opportune times? Is there any facet of Henrique's game that concerns or excites you? If so voice your opinion below. Thanks for reading!

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