Adam Henrique was one of the biggest disappointments to the New Jersey Devils‘ failed season in 2013. Last year’s playoff hero failed to produce and was mired in various slumps throughout his sophomore campaign. As the Devils collapsed down the stretch, missing the playoffs for the second time in three years, Henrique was nowhere to be found.
While Henrique is far from the first rookie phenom to disappear in their sophomore season, there was a lot more at play that led to Henrique’s poor year.
For starters, Adam Henrique injured his wrist before the season started while playing in Albany. He came into the season on the injured reserve, and lost the advantage he had on players who were idle during the lockout. He missed the start of the season. Although he started hot like most of the Devils, Henrique began the year at a disadvantage because of his injury.
The slumps Henrique went through all year were a result of being left out of Peter DeBoer‘s favorite rotations. Henrique found himself as a top-line left wing, a second-line utility player and a third line grinder. Depending on your definition of New Jersey’s CBGB line, Henrique slipped all the way to the fourth line at times. Henrique’s ever-changing role with the New Jersey Devils hurt his consistency and production.
The Devils offense was mediocre all year, and the team was led by David Clarkson‘s 15 goals. Henrique’s poor year was a result of the poor years of everyone around him as well. The team struggled, not just Adam Henrique.
Henrique thrived in pressure situations last year, scoring overtime winners to finish off Game 7 of the first round and delivering the final goal of the Eastern Conference Final. A player of that sort of composure won’t suddenly disappear, and his clutch scoring will continue to help the Devils win close games.
In the end, it seems likely that Adam Henrique will be back to his old self next year — and so will the New Jersey Devils.