Nicklas Jensen is leading his Swedish Elite League team in scoring (VIDEO)

While there may not be any NHL hockey right now, Nicklas Jensen is still giving Canucks fans something to get excited about. The Canucks’ first round draft pick in 2011 is in Sweden playing for AIK of the Elitserien (Swedish Elite League) and will apparently being staying there for the entire duration of the season, even if the lockout ends. That’s not exactly a bad thing, as he is currently making the most of his opportunity.

Jensen currently leads AIK (Allmänna Idrottsklubben Ishockeyförening) in goals, points, and shots on goal. He has 8 goals to go with 3 assists and has yet to go two games without a point. His 11 points in 15 games makes him tied for 15th in the SEL and he is 2nd in goals.

What’s remarkable is that he’s still only 19-years-old and playing against men. He leads all junior-aged players in goals, points, and shots and is second among junior players in average ice time, which Google awesomely translates as “Ice Age.”

The only potential red flag is his minus-3 rating, but it’s worth noting that AIK is one of the worst teams in the league with a 5-11 record and has below average goaltending. Jensen is far from the worst on his team and plus/minus is a tough statistic to judge out of context, but it’s something to keep in mind.

While you can catch highlights of all of AIK’s games on the SEL’s video site, I have compiled all 8 of Jensen’s goals into one nifty highlight package:

Couple things to notice:

  • One of Jensen’s 8 goals actually comes in the shootout. Apparently they count those in regular statistics in the SEL. Something to keep in mind.
  • How about that move in the shootout, though! Goodness gracious. With that goal and Kassian’s nasty winner against the Heat last Friday, it looks like the Canucks might actually have a couple solid shootout options in the lineup in the near future.
  • I find it very encouraging to see Jensen scoring goals in multiple ways. In just these 8 goals, we see a tip-in, a couple seeing-eye wristshots, a penalty shot, banging in rebounds, and quick finishes from in tight. It’s that last one that I’m most excited about. Jensen is clearly getting to the front of the net where he needs to be. He’s not afraid to score some ugly goals, but he is fully capable of scoring pretty ones.
  • Another thing I like is that he elevates the puck, even from in tight. On the first goal, the tip-in, he tips the puck into the top of the net. The second and third goals, both wristshots, go top corner on the glove side. The fourth goal is a backhander on the rebound, but he still tucks it just under the bar. His seventh goal comes from just outside the crease, but he still puts it top corner on a bang-bang play.
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8 comments

  1. jenny wren
    October 25, 2012

    “i didn’t watch this game” just sucks
    emphasizing my missed canucks
    stressing what already i know
    much longer will this lockout go

    i have to read PITB
    but you must know it’s hurting me
    and Nicklas Jensen scoring eight
    just really doesn’t make it, mate

    real hockey back i don’t know when
    i want “i watched this game” again

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  2. rome
    October 25, 2012

    why jenny wren must you be so depressing… lighten up.

    great post, video makes me want to get HIGHER

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  3. tom selleck's moustache
    October 25, 2012

    Thanks for the update. Reading about Jensen’s -3 rating makes me wonder if they keep track of Corsi numbers over there and, if so, what his would be, especially relative to the rest of his teammates.

    And I think you misspelled there in the first sentence.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 25, 2012

      As far as I can tell, the SEL box scores are not in-depth enough to run Corsi numbers, which is frustrating. The data we use from the NHL is in their play-by-play sheets, which show every single event tracked during a game and who was on the ice during that event. I’m not sure if the SEL produces similar data, but if they do it isn’t made public.

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  4. Kelvin Yu
    October 25, 2012

    In your opinion, what’s the level of the SEL in comparison to other leagues around the world? Is it better than the AHL? Worse?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 25, 2012

      I’d say it’s better than the AHL, yes, but it’s a different game. With the bigger ice surface it’s more of an open, high-skilled game, where the AHL is very physical. Gabriel Desjardins put together NHL Equivalencies, which are basically meant to help judge how many points a young player would score in the NHL given his numbers in another league. Here’s the list:

      ……………………………League Quality
      Russian Elite League (KHL)..0.91
      Czech Republic League…….0.61
      Swedish Elite League……….0.59
      Finland SM-Liiga……………..0.54
      AHL/IHL………………………..0.45
      Switzerland National League.0.40
      Deutsche Eishockey League..0.37
      NCAA……………………………0.33

      It’s not meant to be 100% accurate, but it’s a decent guideline built from player averages over a long period of time. An AHL player can be expected to put up 45% the amount of points in the NHL, while SEL players generally put up 59% of the points. The one caveat is that generally only higher-level players come over from the SEL, while the AHL provides the NHL with plenty of pluggers and such. I’m not sure if Desjardins took that into account.

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  5. avelanch
    October 25, 2012

    Only the winning SOG counts as a goal in the SEL (ie the game winning goal). they do it that way to have prper record keeping (if a team mins 4-3, then the winning team needs 4 goal scorers)

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  6. Matt
    October 26, 2012

    The boy’s got a nasty shot.

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