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Devils Alley: The "Adam Rookies" Are Getting Devils Fans Excited

HenriqueAdam Rookies may not be the greatest name for Adam Larsson and Adam Henrique, but the two young skaters are bringing excitement back to Devils hockey.

Henrique scored two goals last night against the Winnipeg Jets, one being the game winner in overtime, and he already has six points in nine games this year. Henrique has gone from the Devils AHL affiliate to their top line center in a little over two weeks, and he is giving the team an effort that fans haven't seen in a long time.

Larsson, the 19 year old first round pick in this year's draft, has not only become one of the youngest starters in Devils history but is dominating in ice time. Larsson is averaging more then 23 minutes of ice time per game, which ranks him 1st among rookies this season and second on the Devils behind Ilya Kovalchuk. He has also emerged as the team's top power play defensemen, and has already added a power play assist this season.

A lot of doubt was raised when Travis Zajac went down with injury and the team let Colin White go in favor for a rookie defensemen. However, Henrique and Larsson have not only played beyond their full potential but are currently the bright spots on this Devils team.

"We've asked an awful lot of Henrique throwing him into the situation he's in, with the minutes and the role he's playing with us," DeBoer said. "He has the personality to handle it."

There hasn't been this much excitement for a pair of rookies in a long time, and fans see the potential these two guys have. The Devils hope that Henrique can become a dynamic goal scorer for a long time to come, and Larsson has already drawn comparisons to future Hall of Famer Scott Neidermeyer.

"He's a finisher. You don't get two breakaways too often in games and bury both of them," Zach Parise said of Henrique's performance last night. "That's impressive. We need some finish around here."

The Devils announced this week that Zajac is currently rehabbing his achillies injury, and that he could return in the next 4-6 weeks. But if you are head coach Pete DeBoer, do you take Henrique off the top line with the way he is performing?

Considering the rest of the season, the Devils would have Zajac, Henrique, and Zubrus on the top three lines. The Elias-Zubrus-Sykora line has already been strong, and the Parise-Kovy-Henrique line is starting to show signs of greatness. Although Zajac was the top center in 2010, he may find himself having to earn his spot on the top line.

LarrsonAs for Larsson, don't expect him to go anywhere anytime soon. The rookie has struggled in the past few games, and his +/- has taken a hit because of it, but Larsson continues to be a workhorse for the Devils and has already earned his spot in this organization for years to come.

The Devils are now 6-5-1 on the season and have won two straight games after a 1-3 road trip. They will have a few days off before returning to action against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. As of now, Henrique is expected to stay on the top line and Larsson will continue to be paired with Tallinder.

Follow Joe on Twitter: @jkuchie




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