The fantasy outlook of Canuck prospect, Nicklas Jensen.
Earlier this week on Twitter, I solicited suggestions for which prospect(s) should be featured in today's edition of The Journey. By random selection, Ian Chan (@ianwychan) is this week's winner and has selected Ty Rattie and Nicklas Jensen. In November, our own Michael Barrett did a piece on Ty Rattie so I will focus on Jensen and highlight his potential fantasy value.
Vancouver's first-round pick in 2011 got his start in native Denmark playing for his hometown Herning team in the Danish Under-17 and 20 leagues. He established himself as a goal scorer with a heavy shot by depositing 54 goals in 44 games played between 2007 and the end of the 2009 season. His early success led to his inclusion on Denmark's U-18 WJC team and he moved up to Herning's premier league for the 2009-10 campaign. Playing against bigger and stronger talent, Jensen managed to score 12 goals and 26 points in 34 games and was among the team's leaderboard for most offensive categories. With his stock on the rise in Denmark, he was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft by the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.
2010-11 proved to be critical season for Jensen as NHL clubs were monitoring his jump across the pond and wanted to gauge how well he would acclimate to the North American game. In 61 games with the Generals, he scored 29 times and dished out 29 helpers for 58 points. He was equally impressive in 10 playoff games by scoring seven times with four assists. Although Central Scouting did not rank him in the Top 10 skaters, he was on the NHL radar and was thought to safely be a high second-round selection.
At the NHL draft in Minnesota, Jensen was selected by the Vancouver Canucks with the 29th overall pick. The Vancouver brass was impressed with his size, speed and ability to create turnovers as a result of relentless fore-checking. Other teams likely passed him over in the mid-to-late portion of the round due to concerns over his defensive game, however, his call to the NHL will be based on getting on the score sheet as an explosive winger on a scoring line.