NEWARK, N.J. -- Adam Henrique, captain of the New Jersey Devils Movember initiative to promote men's health, is as curious as anyone which NHL rookie on his eight-player team will wind up with the most impressive mustache.
The candidates include Nico Hischier (18), Jesper Bratt (19), Blake Coleman (25) and Will Butcher (22). Also joining Henrique's cause are Brian Boyle, Jimmy Hayes, and Miles Wood. Each player has their own Movember account and will be raising money and growing mustaches for the cause.
Movember is the annual men's health initiative that raises awareness to prevent prostate and testicular cancer and male suicide.
"Obviously not everyone can grow a great mustache but it's great to see the rookies jump behind it and have fun with it," Henrique said. "I think it would be a pretty safe bet that [Butcher] might come out on top with best mustache of the rookie group.
"But we might have to consider a worst mustache prize at the end of the month."
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Said Hischier: "I would say [Butcher] would have the best one of the rookies. I'm trying but I probably won't have the best mustache. But that's OK because it's for a great cause."
Butcher doesn't mind the pressure associated with growing an attractive mustache.
"Any time you can pitch in by doing something as small as not shaving your face, I'm all for it," Butcher said. "Thing is, by the end of the month, [Bratt] is going to have one that'll look really funny so people might like it just because it's like a little blonde thing that's on there. He might be the dark horse in the race."
Devils coach John Hynes believes the rookie race for top mustache will come down to Butcher and Coleman.
"Coleman is a little older so he can grow that in, but Butcher has the dark hair," Hynes said. "And the other two (Hischier and Bratt), I don't think can grow them. It's a two-man race, blonde versus brown, but I'll go Butcher."
Said Bratt: "This is a pretty new thing for me; my mustache and beard is not filling in so good. But I'm working on it so I'll try to do the best I can."
Henrique has been involved with the Movember initiative and growing a mustache since 2015.
"For me, it started out just for fun and growing a mustache," he said. "It kind of built from there and over the past couple of seasons, we've done a little more each year to push the initiative and get it out there. As athletes, we have a great platform to reach out to a lot of people and raise awareness for a great cause."
For a $40 donation, Henrique is offering a photo opportunity for as many as 150 fans at the end of each of the four home games at Prudential Center in November.
"It's been great to see how many people are getting behind it and having fun with growing the mustaches and beards," Henrique said.
Henrique has personally raised more than $2,000 this season and more than $9,800 through his donation page since 2015.
He's also gearing up for his inaugural Rico's Soiree to benefit Movember for fans at the Cadillac Cantina in Hoboken on Nov. 28. The event will include a chance to win prizes, an opportunity to meet several Devils players and a chance to bid on shaving off Henrique's mustache at the bar.
"I'm letting it go so it's going to stand out for sure," Henrique said. "We'll see how it turns out at the end of the month but someone will get to cut it off. That's one other thing that will be fun to be a part of with the fans so I'm excited for the event and to see all the people who come out for it."
To make a donation on Henrique's personal Movember donation page, visit: https://Mobro.co/ah14.
"There are so many great causes out there to raise money for and this is one where I found myself being able to help out a lot and raise awareness," Henrique said. "I've tried to put a little more effort into it every single year."