New Jersey Devils: How Adam Henrique Will Impact the Future of the Team

Amy Streifer@AmyStreiferCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 09: Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils looks on during Game Five of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings at the Prudential Center on June 9, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When the New Jersey Devils are brought up in conversation, all of the well-known players such as Martin Brodeur, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias are mentioned. However, one fairly new player will be spoken about just as much in the upcoming years. Adam Henrique is only 22 years old, but he has already proved to be a tremendous contributor to New Jersey's roster.

Last season, Henrique played in 74 games and finished with 16 goals and 35 assists. However, Henrique's postseason skills were the most impressive. During the 2011-2012 playoffs, Henrique scored five goals, three of which were game-winners.

The loss of Zach Parise will be devastating to New Jersey, but having Henrique around will cushion the blow a bit for the squad. The Canadian-born center has incredible puck-handling skills, is a great passer and can be a team leader when he needs to be.

Henrique is young talent to a roster that continues to get older. Elias is 36, Brodeur is 40 and Petr Sykora is 35. All of these players contribute to the team, and they each have an important role, but New Jersey needs younger players that will be able to compete for 10 years or more.

Henrique is one of those players.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer must make sure to use Henrique as much as possible during the 2012-2013 season. The New Jersey Devils made it to the Stanley Cup finals this past season, but fell to the Los Angeles Kings.

If they want to make a successful postseason run this upcoming season, they must use young players like Henrique, who bring skill and youth to a successful team.