Devils & Henrique: Examining a Potential Reunion
Elliotte Friedman mentioned Adam Henrique with the New Jersey Devils in the most recent 32 Thoughts episode. Does a reunion make sense?
There's no question the New Jersey Devils have some needs to address before the March 8 trade deadline. Goaltending and defense are among the priorities, but some forward depth can't hurt, especially with the injuries they've dealt with.
On yesterday's 32 Thoughts episode, Elliotte Friedman loosely mentioned the Devils with old friend Adam Henrique. Friedman mentioned, "I would find it very hard to believe that the Devils, in particular, have not looked into Henrique."
Every Devils fan is familiar with "Henrique, It's Over!" from the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 playoffs. There's obviously nostalgia for some fans, but throw that aside for this exercise. There are legitimate hockey reasons for acquiring Henrique. Let's examine the pros and cons of doing so for the Devils.
Henrique Remains Consistent & Productive
Henrique has generally been a model of consistency since former Devils general manager Ray Shero traded him to the Anaheim Ducks at the start of the 2017-18 season. He's averaged 25 goals and 49 points per 82 games for the Ducks and is on track for similar production this season.
Though the Ducks have been one of the NHL's bottom feeders again, Henrique has 15 goals and 32 points in 48 games — a 26-goal, 55-point pace over 82 games. Given the Ducks have struggled, plus some injuries to key players up front, that's quite impressive.
Even at 33 years old, Henrique is not showing signs of slowing down. Not only do his counting totals suggest that, but some of his underlying metrics have been solid on a poor Ducks team. His even-strength offense has been worth an expected goals above replacement (xGAR) of 2.9, on par with an actual GAR of 3.2.
Henrique has averaged 1.83 points per 60 minutes, about what you'd expect from a second-liner. That has him tied as the Ducks’ most efficient five-on-five scorer with Mason McTavish, which says more about their team than anything else.
Henrique is still a high-end second-line forward offensively, but the two-way game he once had a reputation for has started to fade as he approaches his mid-30s. Perhaps that's also the product of being on some terrible defensive teams with the Ducks over the last few seasons. But there is evidence to suggest his defensive game has declined a bit: