Nicklas Jensen showcases art skills, ambitions for captaincy on hockey sketch cards

Canucks fans were eager to see Nicklas Jensen with the Canucks this season, but a subpar pre-season capped off by an upper body injury delayed their gratification. Instead, Jensen has started his season in Utica with the Comets, where he has yet to record a point in three games, though he does have 10 shots on goal. He’ll need to prove he can produce in the AHL before he’s likely to get a call up to Vancouver.

At this point, it looks like it might be a while before we see Jensen in a Canucks jersey, but he did represent the Canucks, along with Bo Horvat, earlier this year at the NHLPA’s Rookie Showcase. The showcase is put on by Panini America, giving the sports card company an opportunity to take pictures for rookie cards and get the players to sign a cavalcade of cards and other merchandise.

One of Panini’s goofier concepts is the sketch cards, where they ask the rookies and prospects to draw something on the front of the card and sign the back. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the players, who have spent the bulk of their lives improving their hockey skills and not their art skills, are not very good artists. This leads to art that looks like it belongs on a fridge, rather than on a hockey card.

Puck Daddy ran down some of the more entertaining sketches from this year’s class, including a sketch of a macrocephalic dog from none other than Nicklas Jensen. It wasn’t the only sketch by the 20-year-old Dane: he had two more, including one that may speak to his optimistic hopes for his long-term future with the Canucks.

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The Week Ahead: California, show your teeth

Every Wednesday we take a look at The Week Ahead to see what storylines we’ll be following, because Wednesday is a day meant for looking ahead to the future. Around here we call Wednesday “Future Day” and we all wear silver jumpsuits and big bubble space helmets. Doesn’t everybody do that?

This week, it’s California dreaming with the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks.

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The Paper Feature: Roberto Luongo used to be Mr. October

October has been notoriously hard on Roberto Luongo, which may be why he seemed so inspired during Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, his first game in November. The Leafs repeatedly tried to go five-hole on him; he stopped every attempt for his second shutout of the season.

This season’s slow start in October wasn’t all that bad. Luongo survived the cursed month with a 7-4-1 record — not too shabby, all things considering — but he still got a few bumps and bruises along the way. There were long shots that somehow snuck through that Luongo would surely want back, not to mention that embarrassing own goal against the Montreal Canadiens.

Luongo is well aware of his October reputation, poking fun at his own foibles on his Twitter account. He posted a picture of the disastrous own goal, saying, “October wasn’t so bad after all…” with his typical self-deprecating sense of humour. Still, his October wasn’t particularly good.

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