Adam Henrique is the one player that makes New Jersey Devils fans excited for the future. The 23-year-old center is one of the only forwards in the team’s entire system that has superstar potential. He seemed to finally show he could dod it by himself in 2013-14 towards the end of the season.
Prior to the season, everyone asked whether or not Henrique would be the same player without Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise playing with him. He has played with superstars since he was in juniors, when he was on a line with Edmonton Oilers‘ star Taylor Hall. With how bad Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder played at times, Henrique showed he could carry a line himself.
He was arguably the Devils’ best special teams player. He was their No. 1 forward on the penalty kill. He was tied for fifth in the NHL with three shorthanded goals, which also led the Devils. He had seven powerplay goals, which was most among Devils forwards. He was everything this team needed when it came to scoring when a man up or when a man down.
Speaking of scoring, he broke 25 goals for the first time in his career. He had the highest goal total on the Devils. The problem is he had a five game stretch in which he had seven goals. If you take out that small section of the season, then he only had 36 points in 77 games. For Henrique to become a true superstar, he has to become a more consistent scorer. He can’t disappear for ten games, just to score in the next three. He needs to score at least once per week. He also needs to get more helpers. The last two seasons, his assist numbers have not been very good.
Overall, Henrique was one of the most important players on the team. The way he played was indicative of how the entire team played. There were times when he was good and times when he was unstoppable. If he can consistently be the latter, then he will be an A+ player. For now, he is a B+ player.
Season Grade: B+