5 Best New Jersey Devils Rookie Seasons Of All Time

Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

3. Adam Henrique 2011-12

Adam Henrique is still a fan favorite to this day. The Devils traded the center in the same season they drafted Nico Hischier in order to obtain Sami Vatanen. It helped the Devils make the playoffs in 2012, so most accept it was a necessary expense. However, it hurts to see him thriving in Anaheim.

Looking at that rookie season, Henrique was electric. After playing one game at the end of the previous season, Henrique hit the ground running in 2011-12. After a slow start to October, Henrique started putting up points in November. In the first four games of the month, he had six points including four goals. He eventually played his way on the top line after Travis Zajac suffered a major injury.

This put him in-between Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, two of the biggest stars in hockey. Parise had 131 career goals going into the season and Kovalchuk had a ridiculous 369 goals. Henrique had a very important role of putting the puck on the stick of two of the sport’s greats. He ended up being a finalist for the Calder Trophy, which went to Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog.

However, it was not the regular season where Henrique really made his mark. Playoff heroics are part of Henrique’s luster, even though he’s only gone there twice. His 2012 playoff performance physically changed the Devils fortunes. They almost lost in the first round to the Florida Panthers. Instead, they made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final.

We all know about the “Henrique, It’s Over” goal call from the legend Doc Emrick. That goal came in overtime of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the hated New York Rangers. He also scored a goal in double overtime against the Panthers in Game 7 of the first round. Henrique had ice in his veins that season, and it might be the most memorable rookie season in Devils history. Scoring two goals as important as that will always keep him in the memories of all Devils fans.