June 17, 2024

Jan 2, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a goal scored by forward Connor McDavid (97) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports/ File photo

Oilers Newest signee is very exceptional and on top of the game; ‘I have allot to offer to the team’

The Edmonton Oilers went into the NHL trade deadline week looking to add depth, skill, experience and versatility.

And they got it all in one fell swoop in the form of Adam Henrique.

While the 34-year-old veteran of 13 NHL seasons (experience? check) was one of a trio of additions the Oilers brought in through trades, which also resulted in fellow Anaheim Ducks forward Sam Carrick and Arizona Coyotes defenceman Troy Stecher, Henrique is easily the most multifaceted piece.

He’s also the one who singlehandedly checks off all the boxes on general manager Ken Holland’s list.

Since his arrival one week ago, Henrique has appeared up and down Edmonton’s middle-six forward grouping, playing both on the wing and centre, while having plenty of special-teams work on his resume. Versatility? Check.

 

“It’s incredible to have a player like that. Reliable, smart, contributes offensively,” said Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch, who slotted Henrique as his third-line centre heading into Wednesday’s game against the visiting Washington Capitals. “Right now, I’d like to use him a little bit more, get him a little more ice time. I think it’s been lower than I would like it to be in the first three games.

Adam Henrique Expresses Appreciation for Fans - The Hockey News Edmonton  Oilers News, Analysis and More

“But it’s also difficult finding ice time getting all four lines involved, especially when Leon (Draisaitl) and Connor (McDavid) are on separate lines and playing 20-plus minutes a night. There’s not much ice time for everybody else.”

Depth? Check.

“So, it’s a balancing act, but I think his role will get a little more involved in the power play, a little more in the penalty kill so there will be some more responsibilities and time on ice,” Knoblauch said. “And just try to find the best linemates for him, too, to help contribute. “He’s a wonderful addition to our team.” And one that hasn’t gone unnoticed by his new teammates, even early on.

 

“Yeah, all of the above,” fellow Oilers forward Zach Hyman said of the checklist. “Definitely deeper, definitely more experienced. A guy who’s been in the league a long time and very versatile, he can play wing, can play centre, play up and down the lineup, play both special teams. So, it’s always great to have a guy like that.

“Just steady, I think. Listen, anytime you’re going from one team to another you’ve got to adjust system-wise and you’ve got to get to know a lot of different people and players, so that’s not easy. But with him, just steady. I think every time he’s been out there you just feel safe, you’re not going to get scored on. Early on, the word is steady and in the playoffs that’s what you want, somebody you can rely on in all situations because the margins are so tight.”

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