BRAMPTON, ON. — Normally my column profiles the top prospects in the Montreal Canadiens system but this week I would like to focus on the story of defenceman, Jordan Henry. The native of Milo, Alberta is a five-year alumni of the WHL, playing with the Moose Jaw Warriors and the final two seasons with the Red Deer Rebels.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 210 pound defenceman was never drafted into the NHL but was invited to a Florida Panthers rookie camp. Henry was impressive enough to earn a three-year entry-level contract.
In his first professional season, Henry split time between the ECHL and the American Hockey League, becoming an AHL regular by season’s end. Not blessed with an abundance of offensive talent, he was considered a stay-at-home defenceman. Hard off-season work paid off as Henry became more of a two-way defenceman who could generate points when given the opportunity.
The three seasons Henry spent with the Rochester Americans would prove to be the longest stint of his nine-year professional career. Within the next couple of seasons he was traded twice and landed with the Washington Capitals. Next came stops in the KHL, Sweden, and Finland before returning to the Florida Everblades, the team with which he began his professional career.
Henry’s time in Europe and the KHL helped him improve his skating and hone his offensive skills. In total, he has played in five professional leagues and a 12 different teams. Henry recently played his 500th professional game, a landmark that speaks to his love of the game and perseverance.
As I watch Jordan Henry play with the Brampton Beast, it is evident to me that he is playing above an ECHL level. He processes the game at a much faster rate than most of his teammates and makes plays look easy at times. Jordan is an asset to Brampton goaltenders as he is a physical presence keeping the front of the net clear.
At the age of 30, Henry serves as not only the anchor of the Beast defence but as a leader on the ice and a playing coach on the bench. This is Henry’s second season with the Beast, and given his mentorship, he may be around a season or two more.
It’s reasonable to assume that Henry will remain at the ECHL level as long as he continues to have the desire to play. He can also serve as an inspiration to undrafted players on the Brampton Beast. Henry has proven that hard work and dedication can yield a professional hockey career, no matter the level.