Thursday, March 7, 2013
Latest re: Canucks' prospect Jensen
By Victoria Matiash
UPDATE: Done with AIK of the Swedish Elite League, Nicklas Jensen faces one last hurdle before joining the AHL Chicago Wolves this season. As reported by Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province, the Canucks must first get the green light from the Oshawa Generals. The OHL squad still holds the rights to the just-turned 20-year-old winger.
“We hope to get him to Chicago,” said Vancouver Canucks assistant GM Lorne Henning on Tuesday. “But his junior team has to approve it. We’re working on that right now.”
The Canucks hope to have Jensen in Chicago by Friday. If all goes to plan, the Danish winger should make his NHL debut this spring.
To the suspected annoyance of the Vancouver Canucks, the North American return of Nicklas Jensen may be on hold. The soon-to-be-20-year-old prospect could be stuck overseas a while longer as his Swedish Elite League squad -- AIK -- makes a charge at a playoff spot. As discussed by Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province, the Canucks want Jensen to re-join the Chicago Wolves ASAP. Filling a spot on the Canucks’ expanded playoff roster could also be in the cards for the 2011 first-round draft pick.
"He could help an NHL team offensively right away," said Dave Gagner, the Canucks director of player development. "He just has to prove to our coaching staff that he’s capable of doing the little things well and he could be a specialty guy right away. He’s a man offensively and below the top of the circles is where he excels because he’s got good size. He’s strong on the puck and wants to score. He can fend off guys and is really comfortable playing against men because he did it when he was 16. It’s not really intimidating for him at all or a big adjustment ..."
Jensen scored six goals in eight games for the Wolves in 2011-12. He enjoyed two productive seasons with the OHL Oshawa Generals before making the jump to the pros last spring. This ongoing stint with AIK is helping the Danish winger develop further.
"Just playing with men again has been a big help, both on and off the ice," Jensen said of the Swedish league. "It’s a little bit more professional with grown-ups and you get to see how that pro life is. That’s been the biggest part and the pace of practices is good for a young guy to learn how to get to the next level."