16-year-old defenceman skated this morning with new team
David Henley is ready to put the Charlottetown Islanders uniform on for the first time.
The six-foot-four, 195-pound defenceman was one of the big pieces general manager Grant Sonier acquired Tuesday during the final day of the trade period. The 16-year-old blue-liner was picked up as part of the deal that sent Ryan Graves to Val-d’Or.
“I’m very excited to be here,” Henley said before Friday morning’s practice.
He arrived Thursday and met his new teammates. Henley was one of four new players skating for the first time as Islanders Friday at the Eastlink Centre.
The team plays the Shawinigan Cataractes tonight at 7 p.m.
“It’s a nice town, the arena is good,” Henley said of his first impressions. “I met the boys, so I’m very excited to start today.”
This is his first time being away from home, so it is a new experience. The transition was made easier by talking to his Val-d’Or teammate Louick Marcotte, who played three seasons in Charlottetown.
“Louick has told me the city and the fans are very good here,” he said.
Henley described himself as a physical defenceman at this stage in his career, but noted he can play a variety of roles.
“I can be offensive too, but I’m only 16-years-old, so I’m not very offensive this year, but I’m going to learn,” he said. “I’m going to play hard.”
He has a goal and three assists in 35 games this season with Val-d'Or.
Henley is excited to be part of the young core of players the Islanders have assembled. He joins fellow forwards Daniel Sprong and Curtis Scales and defenceman Luc Deschenes, who are all 16-year-olds.
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan visit Eastlink Centre Sunday at 3 p.m.