Greatest New Jersey Devils player of all time: 22. Adam Henrique
“Henrique, it’s over” will live in the ears of Devils and Rangers fans alike. The then-rookie Adam Henrique was in the right place at the right time, waiting past the legendary Henrik Lundqvist as the puck trickled past him in 2OT. Henrique ended Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a goal and a sprint to the boards. The goal ended the Rangers’ season, sending the Devils to their fifth Stanley Cup Final.
That was just the beginning of the Adam Henrique lore. He wasn’t even supposed to be in this position. Travis Zajac got hurt in the preseason, an injury most thought would tank the Devils’ season. Henrique stepped in between Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, and he fed the two superstars all year. He matched up with them in the playoffs, even when Zajac came back into the lineup. Henrique showed his knack for heroics when he scored the Game 7 winner in the first round against the Florida Panthers.
To be honest, those goals might have inflated Henrique’s ranking, but he’s more than that. He had a 30-goal season in 2015-16. He was constantly an offensive center who could fill in any role the team needed. He was also a fantastic penalty killer, leading the NHL in shorthanded goals in 2011-12.
Still, everything comes down to those two iconic moments, one more iconic than the next. The Rangers goal will never be matched. It might be more important than the goal that won the Devils the 2000 Stanley Cup. That might sound preposterous, but this was a franchise hoping to get one more moment for Martin Brodeur, and the rookie delivered. Henrique speaks highly of his time in New Jersey after he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks. Who knows. Maybe this partnership isn’t completely over.