By John Schweibacher
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New Jersey Devils rookie Adam Henrique continues his impressive debut season. Henrique begins the week second among NHL rookies with 32 points, second only to Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the number one overall pick in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, who is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury:

Player Team Games G A PTS
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton 38 13 22 35
Adam Henrique New Jersey 38 12 20 32
Craig Smith Nashville 41 9 17 26
Cody Hodgson Vancouver 42 10 14 24
Matt Read Philadelphia 36 12 11 23

Henrique reached the 30-point plateau with a goal and an assist in New Jersey’s 5-2 win over Florida last Friday night. Henrique is just the 10th Devils’ rookie to collect 30 points since the 1992-93 season. Here are the last 10 New Jersey Devils who had at least 30 point-rookie seasons:

Season Player Games G A PTS
2011-12 Adam Henrique 38 12 20 32
2006-07 Travis Zajac 80 17 25 42
2005-06 Zach Parise 81 14 18 32
1999-00 Scott Gomez 82 19 51 70
1999-00 Brian Rafalski 75 5 27 32
1998-99 Brendan Morrison 76 13 33 46
1997-98 Patrik Elias 74 18 19 37
1996-97 Denis Pederson 70 12 20 32
1992-93 Scott Niedermayer 80 11 29 40
1992-93 Bill Guerin 65 14 20 34

Also from Elias; Henrique’s total of 32 points matches the second-highest point total by a rookie in the team’s first 41 games of a season since the franchise moved to New Jersey in 1982. Scott Gomez tallied 38 points in the Devils’ first 41 games in 1999-2000 and Kevin Todd had 32 points at the 41-game mark in 1991-92.

Patrik Elias celebrated the 1000th regular-season game of his career in style, scoring one goal and assisting on two others to help the Devils, the only NHL team he’s ever played for, beat the Panthers, 5-2, this past Friday Night.

Elias became just the third player in Devils’ history to play 1,000 regular season games with the team, joining Ken Daneyko (1,283) and Martin Brodeur (1,156).

Elias became the 10th player to play in his 1,000th career game while with the Devils, joining Neal Broten (1995), Dave Andreychuk (1996), Bob Carpenter (1996), Scott Stevens (1996), Ken Daneyko (1999), Claude Lemieux (2000), Martin Brodeur (2009), Brian Rolston (2009) and Dainius Zubrus earlier this season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Elias, a native of the Czech Republic, is the 271st player in NHL history to reach the 1000-game plateau and the 46th man to play 1000-or-more games for one team. He’s the sixth European-born player to appear in 1000-plus games for one NHL club, joining Stan Mikita (Blackhawks), Borje Salming (Maple Leafs), Teppo Numminen (Jets/Coyotes), Nicklas Lidstrom (Red Wings) and Daniel Alfredsson (Senators).

Dainius Zubrus scored the 200th goal of his NHL career when he gave the Devils a 1-0 lead in their game at Ottawa on Monday.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Zubrus reached that milestone even though he has scored 20-or-more goals in only two of his 15 seasons in the NHL: 23 for the Capitals in 2005-06, and 24 with Washington and Buffalo in 2006-07. Zubrus, Nicklas Lidstrom and Saku Koivu are the only active NHL players with 200 or more career goals who have never scored as many as 25 goals in one season.

The Devils’ road trip continues this week with a three-game swing in Canada against Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. It has been 18 years since New Jersey visited these three cities on the same road trip.

Back in January of 1994, the Devils had a five-game road swing which included these same three stops as well as games in Dallas and Vancouver. New Jersey defeated the Jets in Winnipeg, 4-0, as Martin Brodeur posted his second career shutout on January 19th, 1994. After a 6-2 win in Dallas, the Devils tied the Oilers, 3-3 on January 26th in Edmonton and the Flames, 2-2, on January 28th in Calgary to complete the 2-1-2 road trip.

The Devils game in Calgary will be their first since March 5th, 2010, a 5-3 Flames win. New Jersey has gone just 6-12-6 all-time against the Flames in Calgary.

New Jersey last faced the Oilers in Edmonton on March 7th, 2010, a 2-0 shutout loss which ended a 5-0-1 streak for the Devils in Edmonton dating back to 1996. New Jersey has gone 10-10-5 all-time vs. the Oilers in Edmonton.

The Devils lost their first meeting with the Jets in Winnipeg, 4-2, back on December 3rd. Johan Hedberg took the loss in goal that night in his return, of sorts, to Winnipeg. Hedberg, who earned his nickname “Moose” after his stint with the IHL Manitoba Moose back in 2000-01 when he went 23-13-7 with 2.56 GAA in 46 games played.

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Better Half. Devils reach 41-game mark with 23-16-2 record and 48 points. Last season, New Jersey was 10-29-2 with 22 points at the mid-way point of the NHL season.

Minus: Bad Third.
New Jersey has allowed 52, 3rd period goals, the 3rd-most in the NHL behind Columbus (54) and Carolina (63).

Is Henrique the real deal? Sound off below…


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