37th Irish player to be
taken in the NHL draft
since its inception in 1968.
N.Y. Islanders Select Brett Henning in Ninth Round of NHL Draft
Irish sophomore-to-be follows in his father's footsteps.
June 26, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore-to-be forward Brett Henning (Huntington, N.Y.) became the Irish program's second selection of the 1999 National Hockey League Entry Draft, after his hometown New York Islanders nabbed Henning in the ninth and final round Saturday night at Boston's Fleet Center.
The Henning family has a longstanding connection to the Islanders franchise, stretching back to the early 1970s. Henning's father, Lorne Henning, enjoyed a nine-year playing career with the Islanders ('72-'73 - '80-'81) while his 19 years as an NHL assistant and head coach have included 15 seasons with the Islanders organization (assistant from '80-'84, '87-'94 and '98-present; head coach in '94-'95).
An original member of the Islanders, the elder Henning compiled 73 goals and 111 assists as a forward over his 543-game career and played a major role in a four-year Stanley Cup dynasty (1980-83). He also served as head coach for the Minnesota North Stars ('85-'87) and as a Chicago Blackhawks assistant from '95-'98.
The younger Henning-who had the unique opportunity as a youth to skate with various players on his father's teams-may now someday have the chance to be one of those players, after becoming the ninth Notre Dame hockey player to be selected in the NHL draft since 1994.
Another Irish sophomore forward, center David Inman, was selected earlier in the day as a second-round choice of the crosstown rival New York Rangers. The selection of Inman and Henning marks the fifth time in Notre Dame history-and just the second time since 1982-that multiple Irish players have been selected in the first nine rounds of the same NHL draft (the others came in 1972, '75, '76, and '97).
With the selection of Henning and Inman, Notre Dame is slated to have six NHL draft picks on its 1999-2000 roster, including senior center Ben Simon, senior right wing Joe Dusbabek, junior defenseman Ryan Clark and junior left wing Jay Kopischke (all four were 1997 picks).
Since the inception of the NHL draft in 1968, 37 Notre Dame hockey players have been chosen by various teams. Henning joins Clark and former Irish defenseman Scott Cameron (1978, 10th round) as the three Notre Dame hockey players who have been selected by the Islanders.
Henning is a promising second-year forward who could be used at center or left wing, due to the addition of freshman center and former USA Hockey teammate Connor Dunlop. Henning will combine with Simon and Inman to give the Irish three solid returning centers in 1999-2000. Considered one of the top faceoff men on the Irish roster, Henning is known as a very intelligent player who sees the ice well, understands the game and has solid overall skills
As a freshman, Henning centered the third Irish line for most of the season before moving up to the second line for the final three weeks. He was one of four Irish players to appear in all 38 games while totaling four goals, six assists and 30 penalty minutes.
Henning spent the 1997-98 academic year as a member of the inaugural United States national under-18 team, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. He ranked seventh among that program's 28 forwards with 44 overall points (13 goals, 31 assists) in 71 games.
Four of Notre Dame's incoming freshmen also are products of the USA developmental program: Dunlop, right wing Michael Chin (1997-98), defenseman Paul Harris and forward John Wroblewski.