Adam Henrique may not be “under the radar” anymore, but at just past the half-way mark of the 2011-2012 NHL season, he is by far the most surprising Calder Trophy candidate awarded to the rookie of the year.
As of this writing Henrique sits one point behind injured Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the rookie scoring lead and will certainly surpass the former first overall pick in the near future. He is tied for first in goals second in assists among all rookies.
Henriques critics will point out that he plays with superstar line-mates in Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.
In reality, Henrique worked his way up to the first line and has performed very well no matter who is linemates are, and in all situations. The rookie is currently tied for first in the league with 4 short-handed goals and 7 points) and is a plus-9 at even strength.
The confidence shown in Henrique by his coach is shown by his league leading time on ice among all rookie forwards.
While RNH has 18 of his points on the power-play, Henrique has managed most of his even strength and short-handed.
Last season it was Jeff Skinner who seemed to come out of nowhere to crush all the competition. Skinner however was a high first round draft pick. Adam Henrique was selected in the 3rd round by the Devils.
Will Henrique surpass the injured RNH to capture the Calder?