Not opting into the 2004 NHL Draft hasn’t hurt T. J. Hensick’s draft stock this year. He, along with junior Jeff Tambellini (LA) comprised one of the nation’s most lethal offensive duos this season. Not surprisingly, both were named co-recipients of Michigan’s Hal Downes Trophy, which recognizes the team’s most valuable player. Hensick finished second on the Wolverines in points with 55 (23 goals, 32 assists) He also finished second on the team in goals and assists as well. He also finished fourth in the nation in points per game (1.41). Among the many accolades Hensick received this season included being named one of the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, selections to the All-America West as well as the CCHA All-Conference First Teams. Hensick was also a member of Team USA’s 2005 U-20 WJC squad.
Hensick was chosen in the third round, 88th overall, of the 2005 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.
2007-08: Hensick saw action in 31 regular season games for Colorado, also appearing in 50 games with AHL Lake Erie. He was recalled by Colorado four times throughout the season, and a fifth in the playoffs. He recorded eleven points with the Avalanche and finished as the club’s top rookie scorer. Hensick scored four of his six goals on the power play. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 30 at San Jose and scored his first NHL goal just one night later at Los Angeles. He shared the team lead with five goals in February and recorded a three-game goal streak, Feb. 2-6, including back-to-back multi-goal games Feb. 2 at St. Louis and Feb. 4 against Phoenix. Hensick became the first Avalanche/Nordiques rookie to post consecutive multi-goal games since Miroslave Frycer in 1981-82. Despite playing only 50 games, he was Lake Erie’s second leading scorer with 45 points. Hensick recorded four points for PlanetUSA at the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic on Jan. 28 in Binghamton, N.Y. On Apr. 17, he was recalled from Lake Erie and appeared in two playoff games with the Avalanche, recording an assist in game three of the Western Conference Semifinals vs. Detroit on Apr. 29.
Hensick is poetry in high-speed motion. He is a tremendously gifted offensive player who combines flair and creativity with blazing speed. He is of the pure goal-scorer variety. Hensick is a player who is very confident and has excellent hockey sense. His speed and quickness makes him an extremely difficult player to defend against. Hensick is very good on faceoffs, possesses a very quick release and dominates with the puck. The biggest knock on Hensick may be that he tends to avoid the physical side of the game. He has demonstrated that he can give and take the hits but it is not often, if rarely evident. He could also be more involved in the defensive side of the game as well.