ILWT Audition 2012: Adam Henrique: The Right Foot to Fit the Skates of Parise?

Earlier this month, I put out the call looking for new writers for In Lou We Trust to write about the New Jersey Devils. I've opened up the audition to the community at large in order to get some new perspectives and additional voices on the front page with regularity. Since then, I've received eleven entries. Regardless of how they're received, I thank the writers of each and every one of them - you know who you are - for stepping up and submitting an entry.

Throughout the next two weeks, I will post each one under an anonymous name so you can discuss and critique the post without regard to who actually wrote it. I can ensure you that I did not change any of the content outside of formatting it in to the SBN platform. and fixing spelling errors. To that end, please note that I don't necessarily agree with what the posts actually say. I'm just letting them stand on their own. Please be constructive in any criticism and do offer your thoughts about whether you liked (or disliked) the post in addition to discussing it's content. Don't be mean, but be fair.

This first entry comes from Writer A Elliottbaron, who got this in to me on July 8. With the Zach Parise signing elsewhere still fresh in the minds of Devils fans - and still is now, to be fair - Writer A Elliottbaron had an opinion on who to replace Parise's spot: Adam Henrique. Here's what Writer A Elliottbaron had to say, after the jump.

As Devils fans look towards the 2013 season, we are all still left with the question in the back of our heads, who exactly is going to replace one of our top six forwards, Zach Parise. Not only must they replace the skill lost with his departure, but also the character Parise brought to the locker room. He was the young, seemingly attractive, and charismatic captain that any team could only wish for. Now where on the team do we find a young, seemingly attractive charismatic kid who also has the skill to replace Parise? It might be in former rookie Adam Henrique.

Now we could look at Zach’s 293 shots this season and compare them to Henrique’s 130, but we understand that Zach’s job in front of the net was to get shots on goal and hope for the best. Parise, who finished the season with 18 points more than Adam (69-51) also played in eight more games, and had 3:30 greater ice time on average per game than Henrique. Despite the offensive numbers heavily leaning towards Zach, the "team player" numbers favor Adam Henrique heavily.

Adam nearly reached Parise’s total of 38 assists this season, by tallying 35 for himself. His +/- was also substantially better than Zach’s, differing by a total of +13. Henrique also managed to keep himself out of the box more by 25 minutes. Luckily these few penalties accumulated by Zach didn’t take a toll on the devils thanks to the record setting penalty kill that both Parise and Henrique combined on for 7 shorthanded goals and 7 shorthanded assists. Henrique did manage to close the offensive gaps during the 2012 postseason.

15 to 13. Henrique was outscored by Parise in points by a pair. However, we must consider what these numbers mean. Although Zach held a higher goal total (8-5), Henrique edged Parise in the assist column (8-7). Henrique did have 47 less shots than Parise, but finished the postseason +20 above Zach in the +/- category. This +/- difference shows that Henrique may be a better balanced player than Parise and has the skill to be the strong power forward we need who also is defensively minded.

What does all of this mean? As Devils fans, we have room for concern and disappointment over our lost leader. But with the right training and appropriate line combinations by Deboer, we may have a new emerging leader. Adam Henrique has all the tools equipped to succeed. He has an accurate shot, he is defensively minded, and oh boy is he fast. Even if Lou does not manage to sign another top six forward, we should have plenty of character in the locker room willing to step up at fill the void.

With Elias, Kovalchuk, Zajac, Zubrus, Henrique, the new and improved David Clarkson, our reunited powerful fourth line, and even young Jacob Jofeson, the Devils should have plenty to succeed next year. And if there is any doubt left, remember, Lou knows what he is doing.

Editor's Note: Now that you read Writer A Elliottbaron's opinion why Henrique can replace Parise, I want to know what you think. Do you agree with Writer A's opinion? What did you think of how Writer A Elliottbaron presented the argument? Is this the kind of post you would want to see regularly at In Lou We Trust? Please leave your answers and other comments about this post in the comments. Thanks go to Writer A Elliottbaron for the submission and thank you for reading.

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