The domino effect of Zach Parise's departure will have many implications in New Jersey once the CBA talks are put to bed and the puck is finally dropped. The immediate result is a promotion for sophomore-to-be, Adam Henrique who has now become the incumbent top line centreman. His rookie season was impressive to say the very least, leaving him in serious contention for the 2011-12 Calder Trophy. However, he has big shoes to fill.

Parise is a dynamic offensive talent who netted 31 goals last season and has lit the lamp 114 times over his past three seasons(2010-11 injury recovery notwithstanding). It is probably a fair assessment that there will be a direct gap in Henrique taking over Parise’s role. However, with the inevitable increased ice time, that may be smaller than you think.


For the ‘capology’ expert in all of you, Frozen Pools’ CPP(Cost Per Point) and CHPP(Cap Hit Per Point) generators will make you froth at the mouth at the site of this tool.


As you can see, Mr. Henrique recieved the moniker ‘Best Bang for Your Buck Player’ in the entire NHL! Of course, mind you, the most value per dollar spent will almost always perennially be found in the most productive elite stars still on their entry level deals. This can be evidenced of course by Henrique, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle, just to name a few, who are significantly underpaid, in relative terms at that stage of their careers.


Heading to year four and beyond when the elite stars make 7-10 times what they made in their ELCs, yet may only improve on their year three total by 1.2 times by year four (and that’s generously attributing them a 20% increase in production by their fourth (often breakout) season. However, what separates Henrique from the even more dynamic ELC level peers is that he was not adjudged to be elite enough to receive the same bonus provisions when he inked with New Jersey as the others. So although they outscored him, he still made less per point achieved than anyone else in the league (a lot of this has to do with where he was drafted - 82nd overall in 2008).


Although his rookie bonus ceiling increases to $854,166 next season, due to the aforementioned increased ice time on both even strength and the powerplay Henrique will be receiving, he should still make some noise in the ‘best value per-point' player category. Not to mention his current AHL apprenticeship gives him the experience of being the go-to guy on the team, which can only be a positive for his confidence.


The report generator tool above pits the overall performance of the 'Top 50 Players' who earned less than or equal to $1,000,000 last season, where Henrique had the least PPTOI (PowerPlay Ice Time) of any of his peers. Therefore, it is clear as day that Parise’s absence will benefit his production potential especially playing alongside powerplay specialist Ilya Kovalchuk on the man advantage. 


Lining up with Kovalchuk will certainly come with its pitfalls on top of the obvious offensive benefits, namely the +/- stat. Henrique finished a +8 last year on the 2nd line, however his defensive reliability will need to be of prime importance next year to account for Kovalchuk’s one-dimensional game when it comes to defending, where he is a -35 over his last 2 seasons with the Devils. Henrique might be hard pressed to retain the somewhat balanced +/- log chart below from last season, which can be generated throughout the season, by using the Chart-A-Player Real Time Graphical output tool.


In any event, he projects to be a strong depth pickup in fantasy leagues and hockey pools around the board.  Stash him in your notes as a high value mid-round pick up next time you hit the draft table (Hopefully sooner rather than later ahhem…Mr. Bettman….. ahemm Mr. Fehr...).

Previous Forensics Posts from Anthony:

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Anthony Lancione said:

... Excuse me..

Top 6*
Old Wive's Tale**
November 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Anthony Lancione said:

solo223-- Hear me out... Run the numbers. Travis Zajac has only ever had any level of success when lined up with Zach Parise. Without running shotgun to him, Zajac didn't have nearly as impressive a production haul. Who's to say Henrique wouldn't benefit in the same fashion that Travis did if given the opportunity to line up alongside another offensive juggernaut, in Kovy?

Optimistic perhaps, but given my arguments above, namely the increased ice time, there's plenty of reason for optimism in the Henrique camp, especially since Parise was never replaced, nor is he likely too. The offense will inevitably spread through the to 6, even if Parise's totals are not equalled.

In terms of the 'Famous Sophomore Slump', this is just semantics at best, and more likely an old wive's table. Let's look at some recent Calder Trophy finalists and how they 'Trailed Off' in Year 2 production. Sophomore Slumps are a myth, so let's debunk it!

Jordan Eberle: Year #1 - 43 pts
Year #2 - 76 pts (= +33 point up-spike)

Claude Giroux: (1st full season) Year #1 - 47 pts
Year #2 - 76 pts (= +29 point up-spike)

Logan Couture: Year #1 - 56 pts
Year #2 - 65 pts (= +9 point up-spike)

Let's look a tier lower and its the same result...

Derrick Brassard: (1st full season) Year #1 - 36 pts
Year #2 - 47 pts (= +11 point up-spike)

David Desharnais: Year #1 - 22 pts in 43 games(.51 PPG)
Year #2 - 60 pts in 81 games(.74 PPG) (= +38 point up-spike & .23 more PPG)

I rest my case.

Of course, its plausible that players might not live up to their rookie year output (most famously Teemu Selanne's), but its more likely a circumstantial situation or quite frankly a fluke.

So that's what I think of the much vaunted "Sophomore Jinx(Myth)"
November 23, 2012
Votes: +0

solo223 said:

an omission? Who says Henrique will center Kovalchuk....in all likelyhood it will be Zajac who does...given that you also disregard the famous sophomore slump...these 2 factors taken into account lead me to believe this assessment is overly optimistic
November 23, 2012
Votes: -1
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