Keep or Walk: Oilers trade deadline acquisition Adam Henrique upped his value during the playoffs

Edmonton Oilers Adam Henrique
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
19 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers have quite a few unrestricted free agents to make decisions on this summer.
On Canada Day Monday, free agency begins and the Oilers have numerous spots to fill. They need to sign about five forwards and two defencemen and have just $9.033 million in cap space, per Cap Friendly.
The Oilers have a few forwards under contract next season, as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan McLeod, and Derek Ryan are all signed for the 2024-25 season. Moreover, breakout forward Dylan Holloway is a restricted free agent.
As for their unrestricted free agent forwards, Warren Foegele, Corey Perry, Sam Gagner, Connor Brown, Adam Erne, Mattias Janmark, and Adam Henrique will all test free agency on Monday if they aren’t re-signed by then.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Adam Henrique’s 2023-24, what he could make on his next contract, and whether or not he fits with the Oilers moving forward.

Adam Henrique’s 2023-24

Adam Henrique started his career with the New Jersey Devils, playing there from the 2010-11 season until midway through the 2017-18 season until he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks. He scored five goals and 13 points in 24 games during the 2012 postseason, but would not register a point in his first (and last season) postseason run with the Ducks.
On an expiring contract, Henrique scored 18 goals and 42 points in 60 games with the Ducks prior to the trade at the 2024 deadline, which saw the Oilers move their 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick for some retention and Sam Carrick.
After joining the Oilers, Henrique scored six goals and nine points in 22 games, totalling 24 goals and 51 points. In terms of goals, that was his highest total since 2019-20 when he had 26, while his 51 points matched a career-high he set in his 2011-12 rookie season.
Speaking of his rookie season, Henrique scored in Game 6 of the 2012 postseason on June 11, 2012. It wasn’t until April 22, 2024, that he scored his next postseason goal, with the 4,387 days in between being the longest span between two postseason goals in National Hockey League history.
Overall, he finished with three goals (two in the Stanley Cup Final) and six points in 15 games, playing just 11 minutes and 38 seconds during Game 2 of the semifinals against the Vancouver Canucks, before returning in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
I wasn’t particularly happy the Oilers moved a first-round pick for Henrique at the time, I really wanted them to get a winger with it, but it’s hard to argue that they didn’t come out on top in this trade. Henrique came exactly as advertised, as he offered the Oilers versatile two-way play with a scoring touch. 

Adam Henrique’s contract projection

Henrique tied a career-high in points and showed that he can show up when the pressure gets higher in the postseason, so he isn’t going to come cheap. According to AFPAnalytics, they project Henrique to make an annual cap hit of $4.305 million on a three-year deal.
We’ll look more at his role in the next section, but that is a significant chunk of change when the Oilers need to sign at least four forwards, as well as two defencemen. Remember, their current cap remaining is $9.033, so Henrique’s projected cap hit is almost half of that.
Of course, things could change if the Oilers find a way to move out cap. It seems incredibly likely that Campbell will either be moved or bought out, and the rumours are circulating that the Oilers apparently asked Evander Kane to waive his no-move clause. Moreover, Cody Ceci or Brett Kulak could be moved to give Philip Broberg (who’ll also need to be signed, he’s a restricted free agent) a spot.

Should the Oilers re-sign Adam Henrique?

So, spending upwards of $4 million is a lot for a 34-year-old who had one of his best seasons in a long time. Does he have a role?
Well, of course, he does. Henrique isn’t a speedster by any means, but he’s solid defensively if you need him in a third-line centre role, and can score if you want to play him with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. Henrique kills penalties and can be used on the power play, with the Oilers playing him for 12 minutes and 13 seconds on the second unit after the trade.
The fit is clear, and although the term and annual cap hit are a bit worrisome, it’s likely that the Oilers will look to bring back Henrique, even if it means moving a current roster player.


Get ready for the Daily Faceoff Live Free Agency Special, coming to you on July 1st, 2024 LIVE from 11am to 2pm Eastern Standard Time. Join Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli and friends from all over the league 3 hours of non-stop action as they dive deep into the heart of the Free Agency. We will be breaking down every trade, discussing the impact on teams, predicting the future of the Free Agents, and giving you the inside scoop on all the wheeling and dealing happening around the league. Catch all the action live on July 1st from 11 AM to 2 PM EST for the The Daily Faceoff Live Free Agency Special you won’t want to miss!

If you enjoy my content, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

Check out these posts...