The Ducks have signed center Adam Henrique to a five-year contract extension through the 2023-24 NHL season.
Henrique, 28 (2/6/90), owns four career 20-goal seasons, including a career-best 30 in 2015-16. The 6-0, 195-pound center has collected 142-151=293 points with a +4 rating in 512 career NHL games with Anaheim and New Jersey. Among players selected in the 2008 NHL Draft, Henrique ranks tied for fourth in goals and ninth in points.
Acquired from New Jersey with Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round draft pick in exchange for defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick on Nov. 30, 2017, Henrique combined for 24-26=50 points with a career-high +11 rating in 81 games last season with Anaheim and New Jersey. He ranked third among NHL leaders with eight game-winning goals (GWG) following his Ducks debut (Dec. 1-Apr. 7). Henrique finished the regular season leading Anaheim in GWG, ranked tied for second in goals, and tied for third in power-play goals (4).
The Ducks went 33-15-9 in Henrique's 57 games, in which he recorded 20-16=36 points with a +17 rating and 14 PIM. Henrique posted the second-longest point streak to start a Ducks career at five games (3-3=6), behind only Teemu Selanne's 15-game streak in 1995-96.
Selected by New Jersey in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Henrique was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 2011-12. The Brantford, Ontario native won the 2009 and 2010 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires and a silver medal for Team Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championship.
Henrique held a conference call shortly after the announcement was made.
On the importance of signing the contract extension now
That was the goal for me, to get something done this summer. Things went pretty smoothly through the negotiations. Bob [Murray] made things very easy for us, and I feel like it was the same the other way. Going into next year, if we didn't have something done, there would be a lot more questions as to if I would re-sign and stay there or I'd go on the market. Then you become a possible trade piece again. For me, I wanted to have it done so it wouldn't be something to worry about through the season. I'm very happy we have it done now and I can just focus on training, getting ready for camp and the upcoming season.
On when negotiations ramped up
Once everything settled down with Bob and everybody in the front office, once they finished the [NHL] Draft and free agency, I think they touched base maybe once or twice that both sides were interested in getting something done. Then, it was just a matter of time when things calmed down and everybody had that time. Once things got going, there were a couple phone calls back and forth, and that was about it. Bob made it very easy on us. We were all on the same page, and that made things a lot easier.
On his comfort level with the Ducks
No matter where I would've been traded to, I feel like my game is complete enough to fit in anywhere. But coming to Anaheim, and starting with all the injuries and getting to play a lot, it was a seamless fit. I don't think you can overlook that. I think that was a big reason why I was so comfortable there and playing well. The guys in the locker room were great to me. I felt like I had been there for years with some of those guys. That was important for me. Big reason why I wanted to stay and was so comfortable doing another five years. I'm excited it's done and excited for what's ahead. Looking forward to hopefully bringing a Cup back there.
On the importance of a long-term contract at this point in his career
That was important from our end. The term is the biggest thing, especially when you get to this point of your career. I'd love to go as long as possible and play past this contract. That's always been a goal of mine, to play as long as possible. I think that's every players' goal, but there are so many things that can happen along the way. I'm pretty fortunate in my career to remain pretty healthy. Both sides were pretty comfortable with the term. It's not something I'm worried about. I'm just excited for the future.
On his photo featuring himself wearing a Mighty Ducks hat
I don't know if it's around anymore, but I was home with my family yesterday. We had a little celebration. When we were young, I had the old school Ducks Starter jacket. I wore it around everywhere. I had the hat and a keychain - the works. When you're little, the Mighty Ducks movies are always everybody's favorite. We were looking through pictures to see if there were any with the jacket, and there were a few. It was great. My two brothers are in that photo, but the youngest wasn't born yet. It was pretty cool to find that.
They were always one of my favorite teams growing up, which makes this a little more special. It was pretty neat to go back through those pictures and see that. Everybody's dream is to play in the NHL, and to be able to play for one of your favorite teams growing up makes it a little bit more special.