Another homegrown Portage Terrier to carve out a successful path in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), is none other than Nick Henry.
As a 16-year-old in the league, Henry excelled on the ice, being named MJHL Rookie of the Year after posting 26 goals and 35 assists in 50 regular season contests. His success continued in the playoffs where he helped his Terriers capture the Turnbull Cup as MJHL champions before taking the next step in his career, making the jump to the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Regina Pats.
“The MJHL was a huge part of my development,” Henry said of his time in Manitoba. “As a 16-year-old I was able to be put into situations to better myself and have success. The staff in Portage really helped me with my game and I was able to translate things I was taught in the MJHL to when I made the jump to the WHL. It was a great league to learn how to create good habits on and off the ice.”
Following Henry’s first season in the WHL where he and his teammates fell in a hard fought league final, the Portage la Prairie native was selected in the fourth round of the NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.
After two more seasons in the WHL which included an experience in the Memorial Cup, Henry made the full-time jump to professional hockey during the 2019-20 season, where he suited up with the Colorado Eagles in the American Hockey League (AHL).
According to Henry, the MJHL was a great fit that helped him reach the next level in his development path.
“The MJHL helped me become the player and person I am today. It was the perfect scenario for me to start my junior career in my hometown. In the western league it can be hard to get an opportunity at a young age so the MJHL was a better fit to progress my growth as a player. It also gives you extra time to decide if you want to go the major junior route or NCAA. The hockey was a big part of my development and I would highly advise players to start in the MJHL and see where it takes them in the hockey world,” Henry concluded.