To say that the past year has been difficult for Cow Bay, Nova Scotia’s Luke Henman would be an massive understatement.
Henman and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada were playing inspired hockey when the horrific COVID-19 pandemic hit ending their hopes of a solid playoff run.
At that time Henman also had to come to grips with not being signed by the Carolina Hurricanes.
The proud Nova Scotian had faced his share of adversity coming up through the ranks, but nothing ever like this.
With his lifelong dream of playing in the NHL potentially slipping away Henman used the extended off season to prove his place among the elite of the QMJHL.
“It was very disappointing for our season to get cancelled,” Henman said.
“We were playing really well and I was playing some of the best hockey of my life.”
“It was definitely disappointing to not sign with Carolina because I felt I was playing extremely well, but it didn’t work out,” said the soft spoken four year veteran.
As they say adversity reveals character.
“I think I handled the disappointment pretty well,” admitted Henman.
“Obviously, not being signed was disappointing, but there was a lot of uncertainty going on with everything at the time.”
“Not being signed motivated to work even harder to get bigger and stronger.”
Henman entered his final season of Major Junior hockey with renewed confidence and a chip on his shoulder.
“I’ve been working on getting bigger and stronger and also worked on my release.”
“I think I took a big step last season and I want to continue to put the puck in the net,” stressed the Armada captain.
You see this is not the end of the road, it’s a new beginning.
Adversity surrounding the game has never defined the skilled forward, if anything it’s deepen Henman’s love and passion for the game.
Luke Henman understands now more than ever that there’s still so much to play for.
Due to the pandemic wreaking havoc on the QMJHL schedule the Armada have only played eight games so far this season, but they are a perfect 8-0 and by all accounts are going all in this season to take a run at a President Cup.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be in such a good organization,” Henman said when asked about his time in Blainville.
“I think I’ve learned how to be consistent day in and day out.”
“It’s very important to compete each and every day.”
Henman understands and is embracing his role with the Armada.
You see the crafty playing making center has been in this situation before.
His playoff experience and leadership will be truly invaluable coming down the stretch for the highly touted Armada.
Multiple sources have reported that Rouyn-Noranda Huskies star scoring winger Alex Beaucage will be likely joining the Armada in the second half.
A Henman-Beaucage combination could be an extremely lethal especially given Henman’s hockey sense, vision and passing ability.
We all know the chemistry Henman had with Drake Batherson, well it’s clear that Beaucage could have the same impact playing on Henman’s right.
“I think I’ve had a pretty good start to the season,” admitted Henman.
A pretty good start?
Henman has 4 goals and 10 assists so far this season.
On and off the ice Luke Henman continues to deliver for the Armada.
“I’m hoping we can get some more games in and continue to play well. I’m very excited to get back playing hopefully we can add a couple pieces and make a run at this thing.”
“We have a really special group,” Henman said proudly.
What has Henman learned about himself as a player and person, but more importantly as a leader throughout his time in the QMJHL?
“I’ve learned how to approach different situations.”
“Every situation is different and everyone reacts differently.”
“You have to be able to say the right things at the right time.”
“Sometimes you need to be tough on people and other times you can’t,” Henman said.
Spoken like a true leader and team first guy.
What does the future hold for Luke Henman?
“Hopefully I am able to play well enough to earn a pro contract, that’s my goal right now,” Henman said.
In potentially the darkest time of his career, Luke Henman chose to put everything in perspective.
He chose to rededicate rather than blame.
Chose to look inward and continue to improve and lead.
There’s always something to play for, especially when your driven by a dream, pride and an unwavering passion for the game.
Luke Henman and the Armada are on a mission.