Adam Henrique is a Rare Commodity
The Anaheim Ducks don’t really have very many options down the middle, at least, not a lot of good ones. Ryan Getzlaf is obviously the number one, but there isn’t really a player currently on the Ducks roster that could fill the gap as 2C should Henrique be traded.
Sam Steel clearly isn’t ready, and Derek Grant needs to be kept far away from the Top 6 (barring injury.) The Ducks and Dallas Eakins also seem content, for now, playing Trevor Zergras and Isac Lundestrom, who were both drafted as centers, on the wing.
David Backes is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, but seeing as how he has been limited to 10 games with the Ducks this year, that proves that the organization doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the 36-year-old vet. Either that, or there’s a bit of favoritism going on, but that’s an article for another day.
So, where does this leave the Ducks should they trade Henrique? Sure, Bob Murray could go out and sign a player with the potential to be his future 2C in free agency. But, there is no guarantee that Bargain Bob could get a player at his ideal price that will fill the role and do it justice. Another option is Sam Steel, but he has taken a step back in his development this year, and the responsibility seems to be a bit too much for the 23-year-old at this stage in his career.
While the Ducks do have a few options, why not stick with that they are familiar with? Allow players like Sam Steel, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, and Trevor Zegras to develop in the NHL and get comfortable with their role. Utilize Adam Henrique as a buffer while the young guns are given the opportunity to experience the growing pains that are necessary to their development without shouldering the tremendous responsibility of being the 2C when they aren’t ready.