The Trenton, Mich., native moved to the New Jersey Hitmen of the EJHL after spending last season with the Tri-City Storm and the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL in hopes of landing a Division I scholarship.
The move paid off as the 18-year-old committed to the University of Maine.
“It’s always been one of my dream schools since I was younger,” said Henke. “Being from Michigan and coming out east it was one of the schools I wanted to go to. I am glad it worked out.”
New Jersey Hitmen coach Toby Harris said he’s a good kid.
“He’s a high morality kid,” said Harris. “He has strong religious values.”
“His dad is a retired police officer. He comes from that type of family and he’s a tremendous guy you don’t have to worry about off the ice.”
He made the move to the Hitmen to get more attention by Division I schools. He also received some interest from Quinnipiac.
“Where I was in Nebraska, playing for Tri-City, it’s a great organization, but I wasn’t getting any exposure. I sat down with my parents and made the decision to come out East.
At one point early in his hockey career he set his eyes on Ferris State.
“I was committed there, and I decommitted a year and half ago,” Henke stated. “I think I was 15 and I was young, it was just the first offer. It was my fault, I didn’t take a lot of time to talk to the school, and they just offered me (a scholarship). I went home and thought about it for a day or two. I should have waited longer.”
The forward has 14 goals and 17 assists in 21 games with the Hitmen this season.
“I am a play maker, but I like to set up players around me,” Henke said. “I am strong in the corners and strong on my feet. I can put the puck in the net and I have put the puck in the net more this season than I usually I have.”
Harris noted his offensive ability, but Henke has some things to work on before entering Maine from next season.
“I think he just needs to work on his consistency,” Harris said. “He’s very good on draws, he’s a very good goal scorer, and he makes tremendous passes. But for instance against the Junior Bruins, he had three goals and two assists and we won 7-3. Three nights later, we played the Philadelphia Revolution, we won 8-0 and he didn’t have a point.”
With the Swavely brothers, Connor Leen, and Matt Morris, all current Black Bears who played with the Hitmen in the past, Henke made the decision to go to Maine on his own.
“It didn’t really influence me that much,” Henke said. “Of course Toby always talked about how highly regard (Maine was.) From day one, I told him that was one of schools I wanted to go to. He really helped me out.”
Sam Wolfe charged with shoplifting
Sam Wolfe, a 2013 Maine recruit, has been charged with fifth degree theft where he stole $68.89 of merchandise at Scheel’s at the Coral Ridge Mall in Coraville, Iowa when he was a member of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
According to the police report, Wolfe and his teammate Gavin Bayreuther put shirts and hats in their jackets as they left the store. The act was caught on the store’s surveillance camera. Bayreuther is facing the same charges as he had $87.97 of clothing in his possession.
Fifth degree theft in Iowa is considered a simple misdemeanor and if convicted of the charge Wolfe and Bayreuther could receive up to 30 days in jail and/or a mandatory fine of at least $50, but not to exceed $500.
Two weeks ago, Wolfe was traded to the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League. Bayreuther was later traded to the Fargo Force.
“Unfortunately, people make mistakes sometimes,” Cedar Rapids RoughRiders GM and head coach Mark Carlson said to The Gazette. “You hope that they learn from those mistakes.”
The Bismarck Bobcats didn’t respond to an email looking for comment on the situation.
Wolfe and Bayreuther are expected to make their first appearance in court on Dec. 12