Fantasy Hockey: How Is Adam Henrique's Value Impacted By His Move to Anaheim?
It is often said that fantasy hockey has its own unique volatility. That is true. It is also said that players can burst onto the scene like a supernova. But what happens after the initial breakout? This becomes the ultimate question.
Some continue to flourish and rise, while others fade back into the shadows.
Numbers, both advanced and not so advanced, tell more of the story. Adam Henrique has partially been a victim of his own success and unfortunately a team that too often does not shoot the puck that much. The New Jersey Devils wind up hemmed in often.
Before we take a peek at what kind of impact that move has in terms of fantasy, let’s take a closer look at some of Henrique's statistics from his time with the Devils (through November 27th). The Corsi, PDO and Fenwick numbers are for only even strength situations.
|Off Zone Utility||39.40%|
These are the short list of numbers. Henrique is on pace for a 50-point season mostly because New Jersey is scoring more (currently 3.3 goals per contest). If you take a quick glance at Henrique's numbers on Hockey Reference, a few things jump off the page. The big one is career shooting percentage. His 15.0% career clip compared to this year's 8.5% mark is a significant difference. It should mean a rise is coming.
But this positive regression may not have occurred with the Devils. New Jersey has gone through many dynamic changes in the past few years. The Devils are the youngest they have been in some time. Shots for the team were around 30 per night last year at this point. The difference so far this year is that the goal scoring has been more spread out. Brian Gibbons has 11 goals already while Jesper Bratt and Miles Wood have netted 6 goals each. These are players who were not expected to figure so prominently on the score sheet. There is a lot of depth to go around.
Add in the fact that Marcus Johansson, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac have been banged up at various points. It has allowed the Devils' youth to rise, but Henrique has been caught in a weird no man’s land of sorts. He is averaging 2.05 shots per game this season, which is a career high, but the chances do not tend to translate into goals often enough for the forward.
A Quick Look Back
There is this sentiment that Henrique’s career took a bit of a downturn when the lockout happened five years ago. Understand that the forward finished third in the Calder Trophy voting after a 51-point rookie campaign. Again, it was arguably Henrique’s best season (second-best from a fantasy standpoint).
The problem is, when looking at development, a lockout and then a thumb injury derailed Henrique in 2012-13. It was an injury that kept the forward from shooting right for about a year. Reportedly, it did impact his willingness to shoot the puck. This is an aspect of his game that has lasted, at times, to this very day.
It's not like he's flopped since the rookie year; he's been a solid player. Henrique is more of a playmaker who is opportunistic. He has a slightly above average shot (both wrister and one timer) that has served him well. He has had two 20-goal seasons in addition to a 30-goal campaign. It's not like Henrique is useless fantasy-wise -- it's more that he hasn't lived up to the lofty expectations set by his blistering start.
The Impact of the Trade
As we mentioned earlier, Henrique was dealt to Anaheim. The good news is that the forward will at the least get to resume a top-six role in Anaheim with top power-play unit status. Even when Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler return, Henrique can be moved to the left wing, which means he will still be in the top six.
That will boost his fantasy value and even his DFS potential. It puts him back at around the 50-point plateau, and for DFS, that's around the 3-to-3.5 points per night on DraftKings. That is better than what he may have ended up with in New Jersey. The forward will not be pushed aside this season in Anaheim. That's definitely a good thing.
There is one final note of concern, however.
Henrique's expected goals for percentage relative has been 4% to 6% below team average the past few seasons. For a player seeing 18-plus minutes of ice time a night, that is a huge concern and has had impact in his utilization. He has had a defensive-forward mentality for too long, which has stifled his offense. Whether through injury or design, Henrique has stifled himself, and it's pegged him into a role that slowly will phase him out of the high-end offensive chances.
With Kesler and Getzlaf expected to return before January 1st, this puts the new Anaheim forward in a somewhat precarious situation. Tentatively, Henrique will be the third-line center (occasional second-line left wing when needed). He is likely to get power-play time on the second unit and be on the penalty kill in all situations. This could net him a few extra opportunities short-handed. Henrique averaged 3-5 short-handed points per year earlier in his first five seasons. As for second power-play unit possibilities, it would be beneficial as he has more space to set up plays from the half-wall and shoot.
The biggest critique of Henrique's game -- other than face-offs -- was again the reluctance to shoot. If he goes up against more depth matchups in Anaheim, he may have more incentive to attempt more shots. That is the going thought. Henrique's first outing with the Ducks showed Randy Carlyle using the pivot much more in the offensive zone (66.7%) of the time. That percentage will not last, but Henrique will not be in the 40%-to-42% range with the Ducks. Expect him to be closer back to the 50% he was at before the last two seasons in New Jersey.
Anaheim's coach will utilize him differently, and maybe that will be a spark. So, again, Henrique still has 50-point upside with a floor around 40 points, and he could possibly see an uptick to roughly 150 shots on goal. Ice time should be around 16 minutes a night. Then again, Anaheim's injury situation could boost said floor. One thing is certain -- things will be different in Anaheim, but Henrique's success will now be up to Henrique.