Henley wants to play in Val-d'Or for family reasons

Family is the most important thing for me: Islanders defenceman

Jason Malloy jmalloy@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 17, 2015
David Henley

Published on 17 December 2015

David Henley prepares to make a pass at Thursday's Charlottetown Islanders practice.

Photos by Jason Malloy/The Guardian

David Henley

Published on 17 December 2015

David Henley talks with his fellow blue-liners while waiting their turn for a drill at Thursday's Charlottetown Islanders practice.

Photos by Jason Malloy/The Guardian

David Henley

Published on 17 December 2015

David Henley listens to a coach describe a drill during Thursday's practice.

Photos by Jason Malloy/The Guardian

David Henley

Published on 08 October 2015

<p><span class="Normal">Jason Malloy/The Guardian</span></p> <p><span class="Normal">David Henley is in his third season with the Charlottetown Islanders. "One of his biggest attributes is his fire that he has and his natural compete level is really, really high," said coach Jim Hulton.</span></p>

Photos by Jason Malloy/The Guardian

David Henley

Published on 11 August 2015

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David Henley

Published on 03 April 2015

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Published on 28 December 2014

Jeffrey Truchon-Viel of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan slams David Henley of the Charlottetown Islanders into the Islanders bench during QMJHL action in the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown Sunday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

David Henley

Published on 02 November 2014

Charlottetown Islanders defenceman David Henley takes out Halifax Mooseheads forward Danny Moynihan Sunday during QMJHL action at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown. The Mooseheads won 3-0.

Photos by Photo by Brian McInnis/Charlottetown Guardian

Hockey Islanders

Published on 28 March 2014

Charlottetown Islanders forward Josh Shatford, right, tries to lift the stick of teammate David Henley in front of goalie Eric Brassard during practice earlier this week.

Photos by Guardian Photo By Jason Malloy


Published on 31 January 2014

Defence-man David Henley is interviewed during the weekly Friday Night Hockey program by EastLink between periods. The Charlottetown Islanders hosted the Victoriaville Tigres at EastLink Centre Friday, Jan. 31.

Photos by Nigel Armstrong - The Guardian

David Henley

Published on 21 January 2014

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David Henley

Published on 10 January 2014

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David Henley doesn't want to leave Charlottetown, but said he needs to be with his family.

His father Rock has cancer and Henley wants to be with him and support his mother Manon.

The Charlottetown Islanders 18-year-old defenceman has requested a trade back to the Val-d'Or Foreurs, where his major junior career began, to enable him to live at home.

"I don't want to give up on the team or the staff because they've done a lot for me so far, but I don't want to give up on my family either," Henley told The Guardian on Thursday night.

"My family needs me and I need them too, so hockey is secondary for me right now. I just don't want to regret later not having been there to support my family."

Islanders general manager Grant Sonier is trying to grant Henley's request.

"We wish David and his family all the best and we'll try to accommodate (him) as much as we can," Sonier said.

From a hockey perspective, it is not something the GM wants to do.

"We're happy with David Henley and we see him as a big piece for us," he said. "We forget sometimes that these players are kids."

Henley is expected to play in tonight's game before returning home on Saturday.

"I'm not sure if I am going to be in the lineup or not, but if I am it's going to be an emotional game," the rugged blue-liner said. "My last game in Charlottetown is going to be sad, but I am going to work to try and leave the best impression of David Henley in Charlottetown."

Sonier said Henley understands the Isles situation is not simple and added there is no deal in place. The trade period opens Saturday and closes on Jan. 6.

"I can't just let him go to Val-d'Or," Sonier said. "We have to get value. If we can do that, then we'll attempt to do the morally right thing."

The GM said the Foreurs have been really good to deal with, but if a deal can't be hammered out the Islanders ownership supports Henley going home and the team retaining his rights.

Rock had cancer three years ago and recovered, but it came back a year ago. Henley said at the time he would be open to trade if it worked out for both parties. He later changed his mind and decided to stay.

Henley said Thursday he has thought long and hard about his recent decision for the past few months and decided it was time to be home. The youngest of three hockey-playing brothers informed Sonier of his decision during the past couple of weeks.


Henley arrived in Charlottetown in a trade that sent Ryan Graves to the Foreurs. It was the first time he lived away from home and quickly grew to love his new surroundings.

"It's my second hometown and it's going to be forever," he said. "I'm going to remember my time here for the rest of my life."


David Henley

Who - An 18-year-old left-shot defenceman with the Charlottetown Islanders.

Size - Six-foot-four, 207 pounds.

Birthplace - Val-d'Or, Que.

Drafted, traded - Henley was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft by his hometown Val-d'Or Foreurs. He was traded to Charlottetown on Jan. 7, 2014, with defenceman Vladislav Lysenko for defenceman Ryan Graves and a third-round pick in 2014. The Foreurs used the pick to draft blue-liner Tyler Higgins, who has played 16 games this season with Val-d'Or.

The latest - Henley has requested a trade to the Val-d'Or Foreurs to be with his family.

David Henley quote - "It's sad because I wanted to stay here. Everything was great here. It's not about hockey, it's just about my family."

Did you know? The Islanders own Val-d'Or's first-round pick in 2016 from flipping first-round spots at this year's draft.

2015-16 Statistics

GP       G          A          Pts.      PIM

31        1          9           10        64