Devils head coach Peter DeBoer is toying with the idea of loading up his top line following Thursday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Islanders.
During Friday’s practice, Adam Henrique — last year’s Calder Trophy finalist — was moved to left wing and skated alongside center Travis Zajac and right Ilya Kovalchuk.
The move comes after Henrique shifted to the Zajac-Kovalchuk line midway through last night’s defeat.
Henrique, normally a center, does hold the advantage of being a left-handed shot, meaning he can move to the top unit and allow Kovalchuk to remain on his familiar right-hand side.
The move also gives DeBoer a high-profile top scoring unit featuring arguably his three best forwards. Kovalchuk led the team in scoring a year ago (37G-46A-83PTS) while Henrique finished fourth with 51 points, 18 points back of third leading scorer Zach Parise.
Parise’s worth mentioning here because, prior to signing with the Minnesota Wild, he was part of the “loaded-up first line” strategy with Kovalchuk and Zajac.
The trio didn’t play together all that much during the regular season — serious injuries to both Zajac and Parise played their roles — but were reunited during last year’s Stanley Cup run.