Henrique looking for more this fall

Young center hopes to realize NHL dream in New Jersey

Friday, 07.16.2010 / 11:34 AM ET / Features
By Eric Marin
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Henrique looking for more this fall
Adam Henrique was selected 82nd overall in 2008.
Adam Henrique’s list of hockey achievements would make any 20-year-old envious. But with all that he’s done, the young centerman has one more item on his to-do list: he wants to be a part of the Devils’ youth movement this October.

The 6-0, 195-lb., pivot has impressed with his play at this year's rookie camp. It’s the third camp for Henrique, who wants to stand out again in September.

“We started training a few weeks back and my goal is to make the NHL,” Henrique said this week. “I know it’s going to be very tough but I feel I have an opportunity to do that if I have a good summer then come in and have a good camp and show the coaches what I can do. I want to get some exhibition games in and get my feet wet.”

The Devils’ coaching staff has noticed. Their fourth choice, 82nd overall, in 2008, Henrique is one of several strong prospects in the system along with Jacob Josefson (1/2009), Mattias Tedenby (1/2008) and Alexander Urbom (3/2009).

“I thought he looked good today, moving, positioning-wise he was good,” head coach John MacLean said Thursday. “Guys like that, there’s some talent out there for sure, it’s just whether it’s going to be ready in September or not.”

It seems the sky’s the limit for the Brantford, Ontario, native. In 2009-10, his fourth season with the Windsor Spitfires (OHL), Henrique made a 14-point jump over his previous campaign with 38 goals, 39 assists for 77 points in 54 contests. He was a force in the playoffs, tallying 20 goals, five assists in 19 games to earn the Wayne Gretzky “99” Award as OHL playoff MVP. Windsor overcame a 3-0 deficit to Kitchener in the semifinal before sweeping the top-seeded Barrie Colts in the final.

As OHL champs, the Spitfires earned the chance to defend their 2009 Memorial Cup crown. They did just that, going undefeated (4-0) to become the first repeat winner of the coveted trophy since the Kamloops Blazers in 1995. There was little suspense in the title game, as Windsor drubbed host Brandon (WHL), 9-1. Henrique finished the tournament with four goals, four assists – second in points to teammate and 2010 first-overall pick Taylor Hall (5g-4a-9pts).

“It’s hard to explain it,” Henrique said. “It’s just unbelievable, so much fun. And the run we went on this year, too, being down 3-0 to Kitchener then coming back and winning that series in seven. Sweeping Barrie nobody really expected – I didn’t expect that. They were the No. 1 team coming in and they beat us both times during the year. I think it’s just that experience that helped us that much more.”

It was a contrast to 2009, when Windsor dropped their first two Memorial Cup games before rallying with four straight victories to win it all. That year, Henrique (5g-4a) tied Jamie Benn (4g-5a) for the tournament scoring lead with nine points. (Benn, who turns 21 on July 18, made his NHL debut last season with Dallas, scoring 22 goals, 19 assists in 82 games.)

“We knew when we got to the tournament that we could do it,” Henrique said of Windsor's Memorial Cup defense. “There was no question in my mind that we were going to. We didn’t really stress the first couple of games because the first year we lost the first two, dug ourselves a hole and had to play every game. This year we made it a little easier on ourselves, went the complete opposite route.”

He worked his way onto Canada’s World Junior squad, scoring one goal in six appearances. Team Canada fell just short of a sixth straight gold medal, losing to the U.S. in overtime of the gold-medal game.

“Coming out of last season, after that run to the Memorial Cup that really got my confidence up heading into the summer,” Henrique said. “Getting invited to World Junior camp, going into the year, I felt really confident coming here. Going back to Windsor, one of my goals was to make it to the World Junior team. I knew I had to have a good start to the year and just come out flying, working hard every day and that’s what I did. I got fortunate, we were playing great as a team. I felt like my play was really good and was where it needed to be. I got picked for the World Juniors, which was huge for me.”

He weathered a slow start after the World Juniors ended. Then, following a suspension resulting from a game misconduct against Sault Ste. Marie in January, Henrique revved it up again.

“After I came back from that I really turned it on and started playing well,” he said. “I went into the playoffs on a good roll, my confidence was really high. In the playoffs, I think I might have been the most surprised guy with how things were going for me. It seemed like everything was going in the net.”

So the future could be bright for Henrique, who signed an entry-level deal with the Devils last November. Devils’ President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello already has said he expects some of the club’s young talent to compete for roster spots in the fall. Words like can only inspire hopefuls like Henrique.

“Wherever I end up, I’m going to be happy,” he said. “Obviously, my goal is to be on the New Jersey Devils.”




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54


A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59