Should the Edmonton Oilers keep trade acquisition Adam Henrique?

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland’s strategy to collect NHL centres for the roster reached its zenith at the 2024 trade deadline.

In acquiring two veterans (Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick), Holland ensured each of the team’s skill lines would have two centres lining up for every faceoff.

What did the Oilers get in Henrique, and is he a strong option to re-sign in the summer?

A roster comparable 

The easiest way to look at Henrique as a player is to line him up with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins totals, using the Anaheim Ducks 2023-24 totals for Henrique.

The two men are similar in skills. Both play centre and wing, both are deployed as the defensive conscience on their respective lines, and both played heavy minutes this season against elite competition.

Using Puck IQ to identify minutes versus elite competition, we see two forwards asked to take on more than their share of the chores in 2023-24.

Category Henrique Nugent-Hopkins

TOI versus elites (Pct)



DFF Pct versus elites



Goal share versus elites

48 pct

58 pct

DFF Pct Rel Corsi versus elites



All numbers five-on-five, via Puck IQ

Henrique played almost 40 percent of his Anaheim minutes versus elites, the most on the team. Nugent-Hopkins’ percentage of TOI versus elites ranked No. 3 on the Oilers, meaning he took on the heaviest available minutes (along with Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman).

Henrique’s Dangerous Fenwick percentage (DFF, smart Corsi or expected goals are direct statistical comparables) was poor, matching the ghastly team he was on until the deadline. His relative number, although below par, is a positive considering the massive amount of time Henrique was asked to digest against elite competition while being outmanned.

Nugent-Hopkins shone like a diamond, due to his own astute five-on-five play and the strength of his linemates in those minutes.

However, if we strip away the McDavid minutes, RNH’s totals fade markedly. According to Puck IQ, Nugent-Hopkins’ DFF percentage away from the captain (55) in 141 minutes delivers a relative Corsi (-2.3 percent) that’s shy of average.

The Henrique numbers in Anaheim are so punishing it’s difficult to compare with Nugent-Hopkins straight up. After coming to Edmonton, Henrique’s numbers without McDavid versus elites were solid in a small sample.

We can conclude both men played big minutes during the regular season against elites and earned the trust of their coaches.

Henrique vs. Nugent-Hopkins offensively

The five-on-five outscoring puzzle above also bleeds into RNH’s individual scoring in the game state.

How much of his considerable offence feeds off playing with McDavid? Here are the isolated numbers for Nugent-Hopkins, along with his overall totals. Both sets are placed beside Henrique’s numbers for the entire season (both Edmonton and Anaheim regular-season totals).

Player Minutes Goals-60 Points-60













All numbers five-on-five, via Natural Stat Trick

Much of Nugent-Hopkins’ five-on-five offence comes from the McDavid minutes, but his time away from the captain is mostly as the third-line centre. Those minutes are spent trying to suppress the opposing offence, and RNH’s outscoring percentage (51 percent) away from McDavid is impressive.

For his part, Henrique posted strong offensive numbers in Anaheim playing most often with wingers like Max Jones and Troy Terry. His limited minutes with McDavid at five-on-five during the regular season saw him produce two goals and three points in 26 minutes.

In 47 minutes with McDavid during the playoffs, Henrique has one goal and one assist (2.51 points per 60) at five-on-five.

Based on a small sample, Henrique looks like he can run offensively on the No. 1 line as an RNH replacement.

That frees up Nugent-Hopkins for other duties at five-on-five.

Special teams

Nugent-Hopkins is the third best passer among the regular centres on Edmonton’s power play.

That statement is both true and highly misleading.

When the power play features McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, there is no shame in being the third option. During the regular season, when Nugent-Hopkins missed some time, the power play suffered without his calm presence and quality passing.

Henrique was a big part of the Ducks power play before the deadline. In 141 minutes, he averaged 2.12 goals per 60 and 4.24 points per 60. He played very little with the man advantage after coming to the Oilers after the deadline.

On the PK, both men played a lot during the regular season. Henrique averaged 2:34 per game with the Ducks, the team surrendering 7.78 goals per 60 while he was on the ice short-handed.

For his part, Nugent-Hopkins averaged 1:52 per game in the game state, and the Oilers surrendered 9.95 goals per 60 while he was working the PK.

Overall deployment

Henrique and Nugent-Hopkins’ time on ice in each facet of the game shows the resemblance as well as anything. Here are the totals from the 2023-24 season.

Player Five-on-Five Power Play Penalty Kill

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins




Adam Henrique




There isn’t much to choose between the two men in terms of deployment at five-on-five, power play and penalty kill.

Henrique is better in the faceoff circle and took more defensive-zone faceoffs, but that’s diving deep into the resumes of two quality veterans who can flourish at centre or the wing.

He has enjoyed a stronger offensive season at five-on-five, giving his presence on the roster and versatility high value.

Should Edmonton sign Henrique? 

Much will depend on the team’s success in the playoffs, but the key to the decision will involve a comfortable cap hit.

Edmonton has established a willingness to go longer on a deal in order to get a more attractive annual AAV, and Henrique would be a worthy candidate.

Henrique is a quality NHL veteran with two-way acumen and the ability to thrive in all three game states.

He can play centre or wing, and early results have him capable of helping the skill lines score and outscore at five-on-five.

The coaching staff may prefer the utility Henrique offers over a pure winger like Warren Foegele.

Current indications have Henrique as a big part of the team. The lines on Tuesday featured him on the No. 1 line with McDavid, while Nugent-Hopkins was on the second line with Draisaitl.

Foegele was on the fourth line at Tuesday’s practice.

In the playoffs, there’s no more important game than the next one.

It would appear Henrique is earning a contract with the Oilers.

(Photo: Perry Nelson / USA Today)

Originally Appeared Here

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