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Henrique: 'Can't overlook' Albany impact

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils
Adam Henrique
On their road to the NHL, many of today’s Devils gained valuable experience playing for the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils.

Don't miss the chance to see the next generation of Devils when Albany hosts the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Prudential Center on Wednesday, Jan. 21!

Adam Henrique posted 25 goals and 50 points as an AHL rookie in 2010-11. A season later, he scored one of the biggest goals in Devils playoff history and was a Calder Trophy finalist for NHL Rookie of the Year.

Here's what he said recently about what his time in Albany meant to his development:

"Coming out of junior, going there and learning how to be a professional, I think, was the biggest thing. It meant living on your own and knowing how to prepare to play every night. It is tough down there sometimes. The travel wears on you a bit. My year there, we were struggling. But coming in, I just wanted to try and have an impact any way I could. I tried to develop my game, trust the coaches and the players. I started playing more, started playing in all situations, started scoring. That was big, too, because I think throughout the year, it just got my confidence going.

"As the year progressed, I was playing in all situations. That developed my game as a whole, but for the pro level. Every time you go from junior up to pro, it’s a different level of play. Coming in as a young guy, there's that little bit of an adjustment period. I went through it too in the first month, just trying to adjust to the life, doing the right things on the ice, off the ice, preparing every night.

"Scoring 25 goals there was a huge accomplishment my first year, which was awesome. Obviously as a personal goal, it's nice to get to 20, then to 25. Then to be able to play my first NHL game that year at the end of the season (April 10, 2011 vs. Boston) was kind of just the icing on the cake. … It gave me that extra boost of 'This is where I want to be. I can make this team.’… I remember walking out and just seeing the arena was full and I couldn't believe how big it was. I'd been out there before, but when it's full with the fans and they're all around the glass in warmups, it's a different feeling. It gave me that extra motivation to come here and make sure I was ready to hopefully just be here. I was ready to play any role from top line to fourth line, in or out of the lineup. Whatever the coaches were going to ask of me, I was prepared to do that. For my development as a player, that year, you can't overlook it."

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