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Final Grade: T.J. Hensick

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1st Half 28 2 8 10 5 12 2 0 0 0 0 51
2nd Half 33 2 9 11 -12 2 1 1 0 0 0 65
Total 61 4 17 21 -7 14 3 1 0 0 0 116


Final Grade


2008 Grade

2007 Grade



Midseason Grade: D+

Final Grade: D+

Joined Team:

MHH Nicknames: Hensiiick


  • 2nd (19)
  • 4th (19)
  • 3rd (16)
  • 1st (7)


  • C (51)
  • RW (8)
  • LW (2)



  • Stewart (16)
  • Wolski (9)
  • Smyth (7)
  • McLeod (6)
  • Tucker (5)
  • Willsie (5)
  • McCormick (4)
  • Ledin (3)
  • Laperriere (3)
  • Dupuis (1)


  • Arnason (5)
  • Guite (2)
  • Wolski (2)
  • Willsie (1)


  • Svatos (11)
  • Jones (9)
  • Willsie (8)
  • Stewart (7)
  • Hejduk (6)
  • McCormick (6)
  • Laperriere (4)
  • Hendricks (1)
  • Tucker (1)

Ice Time:*

  • TOT 12:54 (10th)
  • EV 10:38 (10th)
  • PK :01 (16th)
  • PP 2:14 (6th)

*Rank is based on total minutes, not average per game.

Best Month: January (7points in 13 games)

Career Highlights: Hensick set career highs in games player (61), assists (17), points (21), penalty minutes (14) and shots (116)

Report: Although the meme du jour of late has been to compare Hensick to tomorrow's contestant, Tyler Arnason, I wonder if a better comparison may be Jaroslav Hlinka. Two years ago, Hlinka had a mediocre season going until he got buried in Joel Quenneville's doghouse for the final two months of the season. By the end of the year, the mediocre season had gone significantly downhill.

If you look at TJ Hensick's splits (spoiler alert: you're about to), you'll see some similar numbers. Over the 1st 3 months of the season, Hensick had 17 points in 37 games - a pace for 37 points in 82 games. That's not spectacular, but respectable. On January 31st, Hensick centered Chris Stewart and Milan Hejduk on the 2nd line, playing 14 minutes and pitching in an assist. Unfortunately, that game also marked the 2nd healthy scratch of the season for Tyler Arnason. He returned two nights later, bumping Hensick to the 4th line where he toiled for just under 9 minutes with Darcy Tucker and Cody McCormick. Hensick spent most of the rest of the season on the bottom two lines and, in Catch-22 fashion, played terribly. He had just 4 points in his last 24 games - and 2 of those came during the 5 games he spent on the top line in late March.

Now, that's not to say that Hensick had a bad season because he got dropped from the top 2 lines. Many people thought that Hensick was due for a big year last year, myself included. That didn't happen. TJ just didn't seem capable of putting any coherent offensive game together - whether it was stickhandling or shooting or positioning or moving in traffic, Hensick just looked off. And, as much as he struggled in those areas, those were the best part of his game. When Hensick did not have the puck, he was completely useless. Since I'm pulling for TJ, it pains me to say this, but he reminded me of one of those plastic table hockey players - when the puck neared his stick, he sprang to life, spun around a bit and moved the puck along. But once the puck was gone, he was, in a word, statuesque (without the boom boom firepower).

Fun Fact: TJ wore #7 at Michigan and #17 with Lake Erie.

The TJ Hensick Drinking Game: Drink when you see Hensick moving his feet without the puck Drunk potential: None

What I Said Last Year: "I think Hensick will get a lot of chances next year to make the jump. With 45 points in 50 games with Lake Erie, he doesn't seem to have a lot to prove in the AHL. With the Avs, he seemed to improve as the season went on and looked good in his 2 playoff games."

2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $685K ($850K)

2009-2010 Status: Hensick is under contract for next season ($850k) and will be a RFA next summer

Outlook for 2009: . Hensick - like Hlinka - has shown almost nothing to indicate that he can contribute from the 3rd or the 4th line either now or in the future (47% in the circles, 14 hits, even less PK ice time than Arnason). Like Hlinka, he was much better when on the top two lines...but "much better" still wasn't good enough. Hensick is still just 23, so there's still room to develop, but his game (and effort level) needs to improve dramatically for him to be able to secure a roster spot. To add complexity to the situation, he is no longer exempt from waivers making roster decisions with him that much stickier.

I'd love to be wrong - maybe there is still a top 6 forward in there waiting to bust out. To be honest, I have a sneaky feeling that TJ won't be back with the Avs next year. A year ago, that sentence would have really bummed me out. Now? Sadly, not so much.

Next Up: Tyler Arnason