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 the year 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.
Here’s his cartoon dog, which actually isn’t bad compared to the efforts of most of the other rookies.
Honestly, that’s not all that bad. It’s colourful and fun. If I was a psychiatrist, I would suggest that whoever drew this is a pretty cheerful and upbeat guy.
His second sketch is all about fire and the state of being on it.
This may be a reference of some sort to a hockey team’s logo that I’m not familiar with, but it also bears a strong similarity to this clipart image. Although it should be noted that hockey sticks aren’t really made from wood that much anymore, so they wouldn’t burn like that. Pretty sure hockey pucks don’t catch fire like that either.
Of course, I could be completely mistaken and those sticks and puck are just wearing flamboyant clown wigs.
Finally, a glimpse into a potential future:
I’m assuming that this sketch is meant to be of Jensen himself celebrating a goal in a Canucks jersey. It appears to be an empty net goal, cementing a victory in the dying minutes of a game.
But, more importantly, Jensen pictures himself wearing the captain’s “C” on his chest. That takes some chutzpah to draw yourself as a future NHL captain, but it’s the kind of confidence and optimism that I like to see from a young prospect. I mean, check out his confident smirk as he holds up his ballsy prediction of the future:
Of course, this is reading a lot into a tiny sketch. Maybe he just really admires Henrik Sedin or Markus Naslund and drew them on his card. Maybe he added the “C” on a whim or was peer-pressured into doing so by a fellow rookie. For what it’s worth, Jensen has never been a captain on any of his teams. He was an alternate captain with Denmark’s U-20 team in 2012, but that’s it.
In any case, here’s hoping we see Jensen celebrating a lot of goals as a Canuck in the future, captain or not.
You can see the entire gallery at Panini America’s website.