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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25 Number 25: Nick Henry

Nick Henry is trying to establish himself a the professional level

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eight writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2021 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.

Since being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Nick Henry has turned from one of the best offensive producers in the WHL to a player who has had a trouble finding a consistent foothold as a professional.

He recorded nine points in 42 goals as a professional rookie with the Eagles two seasons ago before spending last season split between the AHL and ECHL.

A lot of it has to do with the disjointed nature of the last two years but if Henry wants to have a future in the organization, he is going to need to take a big step towards consistency with the Eagles this season.

The original knock against Henry was his skating — scouts just didn’t think it was explosive enough for professional hockey. Though he’s improves it drastically, it’s still the part of his game that is preventing him from making a bigger impact at the professional level.

This season will be make or break for Henry. It is the final year of his entry-level contract so he will have to establish himself as a key part of the depth chart if he wants to get a qualifying offer next summer.

With a lot of depth lost from the organization over the last year, Henry should be able to establish a regular role with the Eagles this season. How big a role will depend on whether or not other young wingers like Matrin Kaut and Sampo Ranta get a chance at the NHL level. Beyond those two, Henry will be competing for a scoring winger role on the Eagles with AHL rookies Alex Beaucage and Andreas Wingerli.

With two years of professional hockey under his belt, Henry looks less like a prospect and more like organizational depth that end up being mainstays in the AHL. He has the potential to come to camp and prove he can be an integral part of the Colorado Eagles going forward but as far as the Avalanche go, it’s hard to believe the team sees him as a part of their future at the NHL level.