What impact will Adam Henrique's return have on the Edmonton Oilers' lineup?

As Adam Henrique nears his return from an ankle injury, it leads to the question of who he will replace in the Edmonton Oilers lineup versus the Dallas Stars?
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game One
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game One / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The Edmonton Oilers continued their journey towards the Stanley Cup, with a thrilling double-overtime 3-2 victory against the Dallas Stars in game one on Thursday night. Over the past three games, the Oilers have showcased strong performances on both the offensive and defensive fronts. While the team is reluctant to disrupt the chemistry that has been yielding success, an inevitable lineup change looms on the horizon:

As per Sportsnet, Adam Henrique, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury, is on the verge of making his return to the ice. His impending comeback will undoubtedly shake up the lineup, prompting speculation about which player will be replaced upon his return.

Slides in on the third line with the two Ryans

The most plausible scenario involves Henrique slotting in on the third line as a winger, with Ryan McLeod at centre and Derek Ryan on the other wing. This strategic move would see Warren Foegele transition to the fourth line, resulting in Connor Brown being relegated to the press box.

This lineup adjustment aims to fortify the Oilers' depth and balance throughout the lineup, without disrupting the chemistry of the first two lines. With Henrique's proven offensive capabilities and McLeod's versatility, the third line would remain potent, while Ryan's presence on the wing offers stability and experience. Additionally, Foegele's move to the fourth line injects energy, providing a formidable presence in the depth positions.

McLeod moves to fourth line centre

One feasible scenario involves a strategic reconfiguration that sees McLeod transitioning to centre the fourth line, resulting in a notable shift in the team's dynamic.

In this envisioned lineup adjustment, McLeod assumes the pivotal role of centring the fourth line, displacing Sam Carrick from the lineup. This tactical manoeuvre aims to capitalise on McLeod's versatility and play-making abilities, offering a formidable presence on the fourth line while again bolstering depth across all lines.

With McLeod anchoring the fourth line, the spotlight shifts to Henrique, who slots into the center position on the third line. Henrique's return injects experience and offensive prowess into the lineup, providing a significant boost to the Oilers' forward depth. On either side of Henrique, Foegele and Ryan help form a formidable trio, combining speed, skill, and physicality to create scoring opportunities and disrupt the opponent's defensive schemes.

McDavid’s OT goal shows his relentless pursuit of the Stanley Cup. McDavid’s OT goal shows his relentless pursuit of the Stanley Cup. dark. Next

As the Edmonton Oilers anticipate Henrique's return to the lineup, the impending lineup adjustments present a welcome challenge. With depth and versatility across the roster, the Oilers are poised to navigate this transition effectively. It remains to be seen how they will manage their lineup upon Henrique's return, but one thing is certain: the team's depth will be a valuable asset as they strive for success in the upcoming games.