The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey writing staff. Our writers, plus a special vote from the readers, ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2017 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked
Point-per-game player, 2016 MJHL Rookie of the Year, 5th leading scorer on an incredibly potent Regina Pats offense, second highest scoring WHL rookie. This is the type of player the Colorado Avalanche are receiving. Being drafted early in the fourth round of the 2017 Entry Draft (94th overall to be exact), Nick Henry doesn’t quite have any especially large shoes to fill. He doesn’t have the pressures that, say, a Cale Makar, or a Matt Duchene, or a Nathan MacKinnon have. The general public does not expect him to become an NHL regular like most earlier picks are and that can do wonders for a solid player still growing into his game.
Henry played a key role on the WHL’s Regina Pats this past season. Playing in arguably the toughest of the 3 CHL leagues, Henry shined on an already high-powered offense and hopes to continue the trend next season, aiming for an Ed Chynoweth Cup win.
Standing at a middling 6’, 190lbs, Henry is a dynamic scoring threat who can shoot and score from anywhere on the ice but looks to pass first, maybe to a fault. Even with being effective at cycling in the dirty areas and a powerhouse on the puck, Henry could improve his decision making while playing without the puck. If he can manage to fill out his frame a bit more and with the right tools, Henry could develop into a smaller Jamie Benn prototype who maximizes his opportunities and hits the mark every time.
Of course, with all draft picks, we should temper our expectations as later round players rarely reach their ceilings. However, as of right now, things are looking up for the young scorer as he will have another year to improve on the Pats, gunning for the WHL championship on a stacked roster. He showed improvement over the course of last season and if he can keep up this development, he could prove to be the wheeling-and-dealing, high-powered winger that has eluded the Colorado Avalanche for years.