That’s Nicklas Jensen, scoring on an end-to-end rush. Why do you care? Because the Canucks just drafted the Danish winger from the Oshawa Generals with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Here’s Laurence Gilman, announcing the pick to a chorus of boos and jeers from Minnesota Wild fans who still think it’s 2003.

Like many Canucks fans, we responded to the pick with complete bewilderment. Where’s Oshawa? Don’t they mean Ottawa? Is Jensen a soft or a hard J? Does Google have the answers I’m looking for? Of course it does. As a wise man (my friend Kevan Gilbert) once said, I think as a criticism of how we’ve come to rely on search engines, “If it’s not on Google, it doesn’t exist.” It’s pretty much true.

Here’s what Dobber Hockey (whose 2011 prospects report is a wise purchase) has to say about him.

Despite all the hubbub surrounding Swedish power winger Gabriel Landeskog, it’s surprising that an almost identical player has gone nearly unnoticed during his own solid campaign. 6’3 Danish winger Nicklas Jensen exceeded all expectations for himself during the 2010-11 season, falling a goal and an assist shy of the 30-30-60 mark. A tremendous competitor who carried Oshawa at times, Jensen firmly established himself as a first-round player.

So just what is the difference between Jensen and Landeskog? Beyond some minor physical differences – Jensen is taller, Landeskog lighter according to pre-combine measurements — the pair finished the year with remarkably similar numbers (although Landeskog played eight fewer games). While there’s no denying Landeskog appears to have the edge in the intangible categories and defensive ability, the gap really may not be all that large. After all, both are complimentary wingers who provide size and grit, but not the elite vision or offensive toolkits to do it themselves.

The difference might be that while a team will be drafting Landeskog with the hopes of an Iginla-type power forward — and a more realistic ceiling of an Andrew Ladd-esque player — Jensen’s projected future and ceiling are a lot closer. As such, if you’re a GM looking to nab the next great European power forward, save your chips and stay where you are in the draft order. One might just fall to you.

Obviously, as a Canucks fan, you have every reason to be skeptical Jensen will never amount to anything quite as sexy as described above. Recent history indicates that he’ll impress at training camp in September, narrowly miss making the team, and then suffer some mishap that ensures he’s somehow less impressive next year. But consider this startling fact: the Canucks’ track record with Danes is relatively spotless.

Plus, Jensen’s been a fairly prolific scorer at every level. Here’s a brief history, courtesy of Hockey’s Future:

2008-09: Jensen played for Herning in the Danish Under-20 league. In 28 games for that club, he scored 28 goals and added 15 assists for 43 points. Jensen played for Denmark at the 2009 Under-18 World Junior Championship (D-1B), where he picked up 1 assist in 5 games.

2009-10: Jensen played for Herning in Denmark’s top league, appearing in 34 games. He scored 12 goals and added 14 assists for 26 points, good for second in scoring on his team. Jensen played in 10 playoff games for Herning, scoring 6 goals and adding 4 assists for 10 points. He was named the Rookie of the Year in the Danish League. In international play, Jensen played for Denmark on both the Under-18 and Under-20 teams. In 5 games at the U-18 D-1A tournament, Jensen scored 13 goals and added 2 assists for 15 points. He was named the Top Forward of that tournament. At the U-20 D-1A tournament, Jensen scored 3 goals and added 2 assists for 5 points in 5 games. he was also named the Top Player on his team at this tournament. Jensen was chosen eighth overall at the 2010 CHL Import Draft by the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.

2010-11: Jensen joined the Oshawa Generals for his OHL rookie season, playing in 61 games for that team. He scored 29 goals and added 29 assists for 58 points, while also adding 42 penalty minutes. Jensen played for Denmark’s gold medalist Under-20 team at the D-1B tournament, where he scored 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in 5 games. Jensen played for Team Cherry at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game.

I’m intrigued by the minor mystery surrounding Jensen’s weight. He’s billed as a power forward, although most places have him listed at between 185 and 190 lbs. If that’s the case, then he definitely needs to bulk up. However, Canadian Press says he’s a much more promising 202 lbs. If that’s the case, he still needs to bulk up, but 200+ is a much better starting point.

Anyway, for more information on Jensen, spend more time Googling him. And send us anything interesting you find so we can pretend we already knew it. In closing, here’s another goal from Youtube:

I bet he does that all the time.

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10 comments

  1. nj
    June 24, 2011

    Beautiful wrist shot from the circle? That sounds familiar…

    Anyways, this guy sounds like a good draftee. I like him already!

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  2. Karen
    June 24, 2011

    No warning on the goal celebration song in the second video?

    Nice summary, saved me some time. I need to learn about this google thing one day, I just used nhl.com. Apparently, his favourite website is facebook… yet his personal profile isn’t public. What’s up with that?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 24, 2011

      Ack! You’re right. I didn’t even notice the goal song…. now it’s all I hear!

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  3. Thalia
    June 24, 2011

    Here are some scouting reports I found.

    NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards:

    “Nicklas has adjusted very well to the OHL. His puck-handling and play-making ability are excellent. He has an excellent wrist shot that he gets off quickly.”

    Oshawa Generals GM and coach Chris DePiero:

    “He’s starting to take off, certainly after Christmas, after he returned from the World Junior B pool and spending some time at home, since he’s been back he’s been on fire. It’s renewed confidence for him. He’s proving that the accolades coming his way are well deserved. They feed off each other (Lucas Lessio, Andy Andreoff and Nicklas Jensen). It’s not the pretty passing plays, it’s the little touch passes. They utilize their size and their quickness. Their puck protection is excellent. … They have a chemistry, the three of them. It’s been kind of neat.”

    thescoutingreport.org’s Mike Kloepfer:

    In the junior ranks, Jensen is one of the most offensively gifted players in the league when he puts it all together. For his 6.03 frame he is a great skater, with a fluid stride. In combination with his skating ability, Jensen has great hands, and can often be seen going coast-to-coast and can really make things happen with little to no room. Of the 29 goals he scored in the OHL this season, a few of them could possibly be called goal of the year. This really speaks to the finishing ability that Jensen possesses and could translate into a 30 goal scorer at the next level. He is the type of player that if you give him an inch he will take a foot which makes him a difficult player to defend.

    Jensen has lots of room to grow into his lanky build. He currently stands at 6.03, 186 pounds and will be required to put on some muscle before he is able to compete at the next level. That being said, he really began adapting to the North American game in the latter part of the season. Although, still a little weak on the puck at times, he is learning how to use his size to his advantage, and protect the puck. Consistency is the main concern in his game, as he was incredibly streaky, and could be seen taking shifts off. Near the end of the season, and in his playoff run, he began to drop that from his name, as he marked seven goals and 10 points in 11 games. Although the strong finish he has a long way to go to prove to critiques he is the real deal.

    Overall Jensen could be that player that becomes the steal of the draft and becomes an 80 point scorer at the NHL level. The real concern is that he becomes the player that never really finds his place in the top 6. Despite his consistency issue, Jensen’s skill set is enough to attract NHL teams. The question now, is how attractive are his skills? Can he be drafted in the 10-15 range? Sure. For now, he fits in at 21 in the TSR’s final rankings for 2011.

    Pros: Game-breaker, Size and speed, High-end skills
    Cons: Strength, Consistency, Improve hockey sense
    Skill-set Comparison: Joe Colborne

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  4. Mike H.
    June 25, 2011

    I think his name is pronounced “Yensen” ….

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    • Don Cherry's Tailor
      June 25, 2011

      So Jay Mohr would call him Whyensen?

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  5. Jon
    June 25, 2011

    hansen and jensen.. sounds good together

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  6. piker
    June 25, 2011

    Darn, I was hoping for Boone Jenner…he sounds like a winner! (26 seconds in the third video).

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  7. Gabrielle
    June 25, 2011

    Did you hear about the second set of Swedish twins, Pathrik (who we drafted) and Ponthus (who didn’t get drafted)? It would be really cool if we could sign this Ponthus guy as a free agent… another set of Swedish twins would be unreal.

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  8. beninvictoria
    June 26, 2011

    one cool thing about him is he is listed, in some places, as being the exact same physical dimensions as ryan kesler. he also clearly has some speed, just like ryan. the point im trying to make is that it would be cool to have two ryan keslers, and now we might

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