The post Oilers’ Coach Kris Knoblauch Has Specific Role for Adam Henrique appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

According to an article by Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic, the Edmonton Oilers are using the last 15 or so games of the season to audition specific roles and line combinations on the roster. The secret will be to find the right chemistry and define certain roles. This will apply to several players, but specifically, head coach Kris Knoblauch has a role in mind for newly acquired forward Adam Henrique.

As per the article, “Knoblauch’s desire is for Henrique, the Oilers’ prized deadline acquisition, to be his shutdown center. That isn’t set in stone, but it’s pretty close.” Nugent-Bowman adds Henrique has been paired with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as of late and the results have been positive. Nugent-Hopkins, known for his versatile role as a two-way forward has meshed with Henrique. The duo’s chemistry is showing exponential improvement with each passing game. They didn’t register a point in the game against Montreal, but against Buffalo, they were joined by Corey Perry instead of Derek Ryan and the trio had several good looks. “That line was our best line in the first period,” Knoblauch said.

Will Henrique’s Role Affect Nugent-Hopkins?

The question Nugent-Bowman writes is if this is best for Nugent-Hopkins, whose production is down from last season. A huge 2022-23 campaign for Nuge saw him register 104 points. Few expected him to reach that marker again, but he’s on pace for 73 points. Should the Oilers be putting him in a spot where he’s better served to score more? Or, is the third line with Henrique the best combination, giving Edmonton a strong line against weaker blueliners?

Adam Henrique Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Oilers

Perhaps both things happen. If the Oilers have a shutdown third line that spends a lot of time in the offensive zone, that’s the best possible outcome. And, if Henrique is the key to unlocking Nugent-Hopkins in five-on-five situations, all the better.

Next: Corey Perry Says Oilers Players “Need to Check Ego at the Door”

The post Oilers’ Coach Kris Knoblauch Has Specific Role for Adam Henrique appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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