For an important member of the Anaheim Ducks, centremen Adam Henrique can relate to how a trade can impact an athlete’s life, when you are on the receiving end of a phone call being informed of a pending transaction.
When fans, media and talking heads alike, speculate on trades and transactions, the impact a move has on the individual player is not part of the discussion.
With the NHL trade deadline, now wrapped for another year at the end of February, a new record for deals was set. A total of 55 players and 25 draft picks changed hands, with NHL teams making final tweaks to their rosters. The number of trades (32) broke the all-time deadline record previously set in 2010, while the number of players involved (55) tied the all-time mark (also from 2010).
Henrique reflected on his own situation and how he was able to adjust on the fly.
For Henrique , his trade was a little different as it happened earlier in the season back on November 30, 2017. His departure from Devils was a multi-player deal, including forward Joseph Blandisi and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft were acquired by the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round draft pick.
“The trade has been great,” Henrique said. “At first it was a bit of a shock. The guys on the team, along with the coaches made it very easy for me with my transition after my trade.”
Henrique said the support he received from his Anaheim teammates, also helped his play on the ice, as it felt like a seamless transition.
For Henrique, it was his first time being traded during his young career. He described his initial feeling of shock.
“At the time I was in my car driving to the rink,” Henrique said. “ I understood the position both teams were in and it made sense as a hockey trade. After the first couple days you work through it, get a couple games under your belt and adjust to your new surroundings.”
During Henrique’s time with the Devils a blockbuster trade between the Oilers and the Devils sparked a reunion between Taylor Hall and his former OHL teammate.
Hall and Henrique played together for three seasons from 2007-2010 for the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL, where the two NHL stars put up big numbers prior to starting their NHL careers in 2010-11.
Henrique was drafted by the Devils in the third round of the 2008 NHL Draft, and he returned to Windsor for the next two seasons. He continued to play alongside Hall, until he was drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2010 NHL Draft.
“We had a lot of success in Windsor, Henrique said. “After your done with the OHL and junior hockey, your mindset changes and you just want to make it at the next level.“
Henrique said when reflecting on his time with the Windsor Spitfires it is hard to narrow down his favourite memory, but his eyes light up discussing the 2009 Memorial Cup in Rimouski, Quebec.
“The first Memorial Cup championship had so many special moments during that tournament alone,” Henrique said. “We were the favourites going in to the Memorial Cup and had to battle back from being down 2-0. As a team, there were some hurdles along the way, we had to overcome, which made it all incomparable.”
Current Goals in Anaheim
With the Ducks retooling and competing in the competitive Pacific Division, Henrique wants to be part of the solutions to getting back into the playoffs.
As a franchise, the Ducks have made the playoffs 10 times out of the 13 years they have been an NHL franchise and have hoisted one Stanley Cup back in 2007.
“The Ducks have had a good tradition and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Henrique pointed out.