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Will Parise’s departure hurt Adam Henrique?

Jul 27, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT

henriqueparise AP

There’s no question that Adam Henrique was one of the more pleasant surprises of 2011-12.

He had 16 goals and 51 points in 74 games to finish third among rookies in points. He averaged 18:09 minutes per game and, with Travis Zajac out for most of the regular season, served admirably as the team’s top-line center.

But how much of do his rookie numbers, particularly that points total, reflect his current abilities and how much are they the result of the amazing opportunity he was given?

For a healthy portion of the regular season, he got to play alongside Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. That’s bound to help any player and Parise in particular ended up with a goal or assist on 29 of Henrique’s 51 points. Obviously the two won’t play together next season and it remains to be seen if he’ll end up on the same line as Kovalchuk now that Zajac is healthy.

In the playoffs, when Zajac was back to getting big minutes, the Henrique-Parise-Kovalchuk line was not nearly as common. Still, Henrique held his own with five goals and 13 points in 24 games to go along with a team-leading plus-12 rating. On top of that, he was a clutch performer, scoring three game-winning goals, including the overtime series winner in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals versus the New York Rangers.

So Henrique has shown that he’s more than just the guy who was able to develop some good on-ice chemistry with superstars. Even if he doesn’t end up playing on the top line next season, he should still be able to provide the Devils with some secondary scoring. Which they’ll certainly need now that Parise’s gone.

  1. 950003cups - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Henrique thrived along side Parise. However, the kid came already in scoring shape. He scored his first game (I think) so I doubt Parise gave him a pep talk that taught him how to beat a goalie in his first game.

  2. 950003cups - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Oh… And he scored 2 OT series clinching goals in his first year. Parise has a grand total of 0 in all of his years combined.

  3. meynbass - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Henrique=Elias 2.0

  4. cerealrapist - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Henrique will make us forget about Parise.
    He’s essentially the same player… Good looking, two way player who will outwork the opponent at both ends. He’ll eventually be a 30 goal scorer and he’s already proved to be as clutch as they come. I can see him wearing the C in a few years…

  5. quonce - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I’m bias on this, but this kid should have won the Calder. Only one of the candidates to make the playoffs, had to fill in for a top six type player injury for the majority of the season, and played into a young leadership role. He had bigger shoes to fill and went way above and beyond expectations is what I’m selling here. Another Lou gem.

    I love the previous commenters thought of Henrique = Elias 2.0. Sure seems like it. Lets hope so.

  6. georgia166 - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    ***Yawnsss**……… the Devils could win 3 straight Stanley Cups and the rest of the Hockey World wouldnt even notice

  7. artvandelay0 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Thats the way it always is with the Devils. They win, are consistent, and no one notices. Personally, I love it. Rangers can have all the attention they want. Its worked out so well for them…

  8. 950003cups - Jul 28, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    People notice when the Devils win. It’s just that it’s already expected.

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