Anaheim Ducks: Adam Henrique Continues Strong Play Since Being Put on Waivers
|Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck/Associated Press|
It's been a rough year for the Anaheim Ducks. There is no doubting they are currently in the middle of a transition period, where they are injecting a wave of youth into their lineup.
They have been able to show off some of their younger talent, headlined by Trevor Zegras, their first round pick just a year ago.
Unfortunately for Anaheim, it has been tough sailing as their younger players continue to acclimate themselves to the best league in the world. They are last in the West, and currently sit in a four-way tie for the second to worst record in the league. Only the Buffalo Sabres have a worst record than Anaheim.
There are still some veterans who have made their presence known on the roster. Still led by long-time captain and last holdover from the last great Ducks' teams, Ryan Getzlaf. Also in the midst of one of the most puzzling seasons of his career is Adam Henrique, who is in his second year of a five-year, $29.125 million contract.
He was also put on waivers by the Ducks in late-February after the 31-year old forward struggled to the start of the season.
In the 16 games Henrique played leading into him being put on waivers, the former third round pick by the New Jersey Devils had managed just four points (3 G, 1 A). That's a long cry from just a season ago when Henrique led the team in scoring and posted back-to-back 40 point campaigns.
Henrique stuck with it, despite having a 'brutal' week when it came to being put on waivers and the aftermath.
Since returning to the lineup, Henrique has looked a lot like his former self. After his three-point effort on Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche, Henrique has collected nine points (4 G, 5 A) in ten games played.
He factored in three of the team's four goals in their loss to Colorado. Anaheim jumped up to a 4-2 lead in the first period, before surrendering six straight goals.
Despite the loss, Tuesday's game against the Avalanche may have been one of the better Henrique has played this season. Playing on a line with Zegras and Troy Terry, the trio posted very favorable 5v5 numbers despite what the final score showed.
In just under nine minutes on the ice together at 5v5, the trio finished even in shot attempts with the Avalanche, and went on to own the goal, expected goal, and high-danger chance differential.
That's not an easy feat to accomplish when the team so throughly dominated like they were over the last two periods of the game.
Henrique also registered the overtime game-winning overtime goal against the Los Angeles Kings on March 8.
The expectations aren't high for the Ducks this year. They have a surplus of young talent and are expected to go through some growing pains. But Henrique does have a certain set of expectations being one of the veterans on the roster, as well as one of the few forwards signed long-term.
After getting an opportunity to reset, it looks like Henrique is ready to start playing to expectation, which can only help the Ducks' build to the future.
Follow me on Twitter @AJ_Murfy.