Prospect Profile: Looking at Adam Henrique's AHL Season

Central Scouting also commented that Adam Henrique is an excellent air guitarist. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Adam Henrique, who was on the Devils opening day roster (technically), was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2008 Draft (84th overall). After slipping in Central Scouting's mid-term rankings (47) to the final rankings (65), Henrique's play has progressed over the past few years in Major Juniors to the point that it made the Devils comfortable enough to deal Patrice Cormier-a player with a similar skill set- in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade last year.

I have read many scouting reports on Henrique over the past couple of months.  Most of the scouting reports on Henrique have buzzwords that would lead one to believe that he has the potential of a third or fourth line center. Central Scouting's Chris Edwards called him an 'energy player'.  Hockey's Future player rater has him projected as a third line player. He is often described as a good two-way player, defensively responsible, and a good penalty killer. Sounds like a perfect third line player, which is something the Devils certainly can use in the future.  He is currently playing with the Albany Devils of the AHL and has posted some pretty good numbers so far on the year, so I wanted to take an opportunity to look a little deeper at his stats and recap his development over this season. 

So how has he progressed at Albany so far this year?   Find out after the jump!                


How has Henrique played so far with Albany?  Well, let me quote myself over the past few Albany updates:

From 11/04/2010: (this was in the comments section)

I  was worried about his transition the most to the AHL because of how he likely played the game at the junior level. Playing with Taylor Hall and scoring points at will is a totally different world.

He is battling for the puck and you can see the effort is there, but I want to watch a few more games before I form an opinion on him.

I think pairing him with Tedenby shows that the team thinks he can create and work on a line with an offensive minded player, so I take that as a good sign.

From 12/09/2010:              

Watching him live, I was very impressed with his instincts and awareness on the ice.  Now back at his natural center position between Matt Anderson and Vladimir Zharkov (#CallUpZharky) he looks much better than he did a month ago.  He was always cognizant of his defensive positioning and you got the impression that if the opposition is going to score while he is on the ice, they are going to have to work for it.  Playing on both the PK and PP units he is often on the ice in crucial spots for the Devils. 

From 1/16/2011:

Adam Henrique-In my earlier report on Albany I wanted to give Henrique a pass since he was adjusting to the AHL after 4 years in the OHL, the last few scoring at will with the Windsor Spitfires. I'm glad I did because he is looking great right now, playing like an AHL veteran. With 22 points in his last 21 games (a lower body injury had him missing a few games), he is now ranked 11th in the AHL for rookie scoring. Playing with Josefson and Anderson, the game has started to slow down for him. He skates well, handles the puck better than advertised and his special teams play is solid. I thought playing on the wing with Josefson might be problematic for him, but he has proved to be more tenacious than I thought when fighting through checks on the end boards. Even before Josefson returned Henrique already had generated some good chemistry with Matt Anderson and their line was becoming the team's #1 line. Josefson has just made the line much more dynamic and I expect big things from Henrique and this line the rest of this season.

Despite Albany's recent struggles, my opinion on Henrique is still relatively the same.  Since I haven't seen Henrique live for each game I wanted to also look into Henrique's shooting numbers.  Specifically I wanted to look at the shots he puts on net and his shooting percentage.  To get some perspective on the matter I also looked back at past AHL season statistics and attempted to compare Henrique to past Devils prospects who have scored goals at the AHL level at a similar rate.  I tried to use 20-goal seasons (or projected 20-goal seasons based on games played) and comparable age (20) to pull out what I consider similar seasons by past Devils prospects at the AHL level.   (Please note that I would have added the 2004-2005 season of Zach Parise to the list below, but unfortunately I cannot locate any shots on goal data for that season. Parise had 18 goals that season at age 20.)

 Henrique_comps_medium

Not a very long list is it?  Of course other players have scored 20 or more goals at the AHL level for the Devils during the past few years, but once again I was only focused on those that I considered prospects.  In other words a 28 year old player wouldn't make the list above as a prospect (let's call this the Matt Anderson rule going forward).

Henrique's adjusted goals for a full season (the GPS column) would be roughly 24.  While he has hit another lull on the scoring sheet recently, I expect this number to remain the same if not increase a bit as the season progresses. 

As mentioned I wanted to focus on shots on net per game.  Henrique currently averages about 2.5 shots on net. In comparison you can see Bergfors and Clarkson averaged a little more than Henrique at the AHL level.  How has that translated for Clarkson and Bergfors in the NHL?  Over the past two seasons (100 games) Clarkson has averaged 2.38 shots per game, compared to 1.89 in his first two full NHL seasons.  Bergfors, who put a ton of shots on net for Albany in 2008-2009,  has averaged 2.34 shots per game in the NHL.  His only full season average is from 2009-2010 and that was 2.67 shots per game.  Nick Palmieri has averaged 1.81 shots per game in his short stints in the NHL. 

But is 2.5 shots per game the true average of shots per game by Henrique?  Judging his shot totals on a month-by-month basis (table below) leads me to think that he is more of a 3 shots per game player at the AHL level than a 2.5 level.  As I talked about in my past updates he took some time to adjust to the professional game.  After November he started to contribute much more offensively as he was placed in more of a scoring role than he had previously been.  One area that shows consistency is his shooting percentage as he has also stayed in the 14%-11% range month-by-month.

Henrique compared with some past Devils prospects who have seen success in the NHL seems to be on a similar statistical pace during his first season with Albany. 

(Editor's note:  The OHL does not provide shooting statistics for skaters on their website so I am unable to look at his shots on net and shooting percentage while he played for Windsor.)

Month Games Goals Points Shots Shot % SPG
October  8 2 1 14 14.29% 1.75
November 12 3 7 26 11.54% 2.17
December 7 3 6 21 14.29% 3.00
January 14 5 11 41 12.20% 2.93

Considering his progression I think you can make a case that Henrique should put up 2-2.25 shots per game if he plays on a third line at the NHL level.   While shots are important (shots on net or shots in general help drive a lot of the advanced statistics that are used to judge player performance), it does help to put the puck in the net every so often.  To get a sense of what type of goals Henrique has been scoring I have embedded those that I have been able to find via the AHL website's free video highlights. 

Goal # Situation Notes Video Link Time of Goal
2 Power Play Nice pass by Fayne down low, able to beat goalie with backhand
2:01
5 Even Strength Came down wing, had screen and shot beat goalie Click Here 2:27
6 Even Strength Empty Net Goal Click Here 1:00
8 Even Strength On forecheck, pressure got Anderson puck flipped to Henrique for shot from circle Click Here 0:55
9 Even Strength 2 on 1, put home rebound going hard to net Click Here 0:15
11 Power Play Parked in slot area, redirected point shot Click Here 1:17
12 Power Play Point Shot on PP Click Here 1:54
13 Even Strength Drove net after faceoff Click Here
0:56

Here is my main takeaway from watching his goals:  Henrique can score in many different ways.  On the power play he can score from the point or redirect a shot.  At even strength he can score on a rush or by an aggressive forecheck that creates turnovers. 

Henrique has been a fine two-way player in the games that I have seen him play for Albany.  When compared with past Devils prospects who have gone through the AHL he compares favorably to players like Niclas Bergfors and David Clarkson.  Now is he second line material?  Hard to gauge.   I think you would need to see him win some of the physical battles for the puck at the NHL level before talking about playing on a second line.   That said, I see no reason why he can't offer the Devils something they currently do not have.  A third line center who can play solid two-way hockey AND score 15-20 goals per season.  That type of tertiary scoring is a necessity in the NHL and the Devils have not had that presence on the third line since John Madden departed two years ago. 

So what do you think about Henrique's progression so far?  Sound off below!

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