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Player Profile: Adam Henrique

HenriqueNUMBER: 14
HEIGHT: 6′ 0″
WEIGHT: 195
POSITION: Center
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: February 6, 1990
BIRTHPLACE: Brantford, ON, Canada

His name has become quite popular in the last week amongst Devils fans, and with good reason. Adam Henrique didn’t make this team coming out of training camp, but went to Albany and continued to work on his game. Then, after playing just 3 games with the Albany Devils and notching one assist, the 21-year-old center from Brantford, Ontario, Canada received the call every minor league player dreams of.  The New Jersey Devils needed him, and although it was due to an injury to another talented center in Jacob Josefson, that was all Henrique needed to hear.

He has made an immediate impact in the early season thus far, scoring 4 goals, and 3 assists in just 10 games. And after scoring back to back game winning goals against the Jets in overtime and the Hurricanes on November 8th, he has quickly become a fan favorite. Chants of “Hen-Rique!” Hen-Rique!” rang out from the crowd after each goal and during his post-game interviews.

Selected 82nd overall in the third round of the 2008 entry draft, Henrique has put up impressive numbers throughout his entire career in both the OHL and AHL. During the 09-10 playoffs while playing for the Windsor Spitfires, Henrique scored a stunning 20 goals in 19 playoff games, and was awarded the “Wayne Gretzky 99 Award” for OHL Playoff MVP as his team won its 2nd of back to back Memorial Cup Championships. Henrique also helped Team Canada win the silver medal at the World Junior Championships back in 2010. Clearly, he is no stranger to success in his young career, and that can only mean good things for the New Jersey Devils.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the talented Henrique as the season progresses. With the return of Josefson and Travis Zajac on the horizon, he’ll certainly need to keep up this pace if he hopes to stay with the parent club. So far, he’s making it pretty difficult for the Devils to send him back down to Albany.

What does the Devils Army think of Adam Henrique?  Feel free to comment and Let’s Go Devils!

2010-2011 Season Stats
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
10 4 3 7 1 0 0 0 2 20 20.0

Best to Wear #12 – Bill Guerin

Bill GuerinNUMBER: 12
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″
WEIGHT: 220
POSITION: Right wing
SHOOTS: Right
BORN: November 9, 1970
BIRTHPLACE: Wilbraham, MA, USA

In one of the more exciting Best to Wear, the Devils Army voted Bill Guerin as the Best to Wear #12 in Devils history.

While I was growing up, Guerin, who was drafted fifth overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, was one of my favorite players. Guerin offered speed, size, offense and defense; he was an all-around player. He played with the Devils from the 91-92 season until the 97-98 season. He was traded, along with Valeri Zelepukin, to Edmonton. Who did the Devils get in return? Jason Arnott.

Guerin, a two time Stanley Cup champion, was always called a leader on every team that he played for in his storied career. He was only captain of one team, the New York Islanders.

Guerin announced his retirement on December 6, 2010 after 17 seasons in the NHL. When he retired, Guerin ranked seventh all-time in goals scored by an American with 429 goals.

Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
380 108 106 214 40 469 22 0 25 863 12.5%

Here is one of my favorite Bill Guerin moments:

I apologize to some of you who were upset that I did not include Nick Palmieri in Best to Wear #12. Since I started the polls before the season started, I missed Larsson at #5, so I figured I wouldn’t include players if it’s their first year wearing the number. Palmieri will be listed for #32.

Petr Sykora Looking to Earn Second Stint with the Devils

Petr SykoraA familiar face was in the New Jersey Devils training camp this September, that face being 34 year old veteran Petr Sykora.  Long time fans will remember Petr from his first stint with the Devils that ran from 1995-2002.  Sykora was 1/3 of the infamous “A-Line” which also featured Jason Arnott and fellow Czech and Devils all time leading scorer, Patrik Elias.  The A-Line was one of the most productive lines in the NHL for a couple of seasons, culminating in a 2000 Stanley Cup Championship.

Petr was invited to camp this year and most onlookers viewed the invitation as a gesture of good will.  The Devils organization has a long time tradition of looking after their players;  both past and current, and none in the game give and have garnered more respect than Devils’ General Manager Lou Lamoriello.  Many in hockey circles whispered that Sykora wouldn’t make the team which is seemingly loaded with forwards, many of them young and hungry.  Well hockey pundits, looks like Petr is making you think twice.  Sykora has been rejuvenated by his return to New Jersey, where he first served notice that he wanted to stick around by netting a hat trick in an intrasquad scrimmage game during training camp.  Petr’s play in camp earned him a spot on the roster for some preseason games, where he recorded 2 goals and an assist.  In Petr’s last couple of preseason games he has been skating on a line with longtime friend Patrik Elias at center and Zach Parise.  Could we be watching A-Line 2.0 in the making?  Most fans can’t help but feel nostalgic about seeing these guys playing together again nearly 10 years after Petr’s departure from New Jersey.

NHL players, coaches and General Managers alike will tell you that often a player’s shot is the last thing they lose.  Petr certainly still has his and wants to be using it in the NHL this season.  Has Petr done enough to earn a spot on the 2011-2012 New Jersey Devils roster?  It appears so, but only time will tell.  The fans and Petr alike will likely learn his fate at some point on Wednesday.  If Sykora is here to stay, expect to see small waves of #17 jerseys around The Rock that do not have “KOVALCHUK” emblazoned on the back of them, but rather the name of an old friend, “SYKORA”.

Prediction: Sykora makes the roster and plays with Elias and Parise at times.  He may be tried out on different line combinations to see where he fits and helps the team best.  I also expect him to see some time on the 2nd power play unit throughout the season.  Fifteen goals and 25 assists sounds like a great season for Petr Sykora!

Player Profile: Patrik Elias

Patrik EliasNUMBER: 26
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″
WEIGHT: 195
POSITION: Left Wing
SHOOTS: Left
BORN: April 13, 1976
BIRTHPLACE: Trebic, Czech Republic

Patrik Elias is a favorite among many New Jersey Devils fans. After being drafted by the Devils in 1994, Elias has set a few franchise records, including all-time leading scorer, most points in a seaso and most career game-winning goals, to name a few. He also played a role in winning the 2000 Stanley Cup Championship with an assist to Jason Arnott’s game winning goal during double overtime in Game 6 at Dallas. And let’s not forget his second Cup with the Devils in 2003.

The 2004-05 NHL lockout came and went but Elias didn’t miss a step. He played in for Czech Republic and when the Devils were back in action, he was placed on a line with Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez and was part of a historic comeback to win the Atlantic Division title. He was named captain in 2006, before Jaime Langenbrunner took the title in 2007. Elias currently wears the A.

In March of 2009, Elias became the Devils’ all-time leading scorer when he recorded his 702nd point with an assist to Brian Gionta’s game winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was that goal that gave Martin Brodeur his record-breaking 552nd win.

There is no denying his talent and puck handling ability. After a rocky first half of the season, Elias was the only Devil in the 2011 NHL All-Star game, making it his third all-star appearance. In the 2010-2011 season, Elias recorded his 800th career point against the Hurricanes and his 8th hat trick to help defeat the Flyers.

Outside of New Jersey he’s won two bronze World Champsionship medals in 1998 and 2011.

Current Franchise Records:

New Jersey Devils record for most points in one season: 96
New Jersey Devils record for most points in a playoff season: 23
New Jersey Devils all-time leader in playoff goals (40), assists (77), and points (117)
New Jersey Devils record for hat tricks: 8
New Jersey Devils record for career assists: 440
New Jersey Devils record for career points: 800
New Jersey Devils record for game winning goals: 66

2010-2011 Season Stats
GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
81 21 41 62 -4 16 7 1 5 204 10.3
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