Nicklas Jensen, LW, RW Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Born: March 6, 1993 in Herning, Denmark
Strengths: Nice-sized frame with broad shoulders and room to add mass and strength. Average skater; OK first few steps and accelerates rapidly across short distances. Lacks elite speed and a separation gear, but agile and elusive, with the ability to make tight turns and shake opposing defenders. Quick stick; handles the puck well at speed and can score from the outside as well as in close. Fast release on a bullet wrister and he can pick the corners with it. B2011DW watched him laser two shots from just outside the right faceoff circle to the top of the left and right corners in a two-goal game versus Kitchener. Soft hands for giving and receiving passes. Instinctive offensive player who can speed up the game or slow it down in the o-zone. When on his game shows a decided killer instinct and tenacity to finish off plays.
Weaknesses: Inconsistency is the issue with this player. When at his best, he can dominate by bulling his way to the net, sucking defenders to him and then finding shooting lanes with his elusiveness. We saw him post 2-2-4 with a strong two-way performance where he was taking the body and playing a responsible defensive game. Unfortunately, Jensen doesn’t always put it together like that even if he’s capable of playing like a power forward because the proof is out there some nights. If the light ever goes on for him, he could be a consistent 30-goal threat in the NHL.
Jensen coast-to-coast vs. London Oct. 2010 (via NHL Draft Video)
Jensen scores vs. Kingston, Jan. 2011 (via NHL Draft Video)
Jensen 2011 NHL Scouting Combine interview (exclusive B2011DW video)
Style compares to: Rick Nash
Draft prediction: One of the 2011 NHL draft's true wildcards- Jensen's rankings are all over the map. Some teams might have him considerably higher than some of the public draft rankings. From our perspective, we saw a dominant game from him, so it is entirely possible that scouts who didn't see him a lot but were treated to nights when he was on his game may see a lot more potential in Jensen than Ontario-based guys who saw enough of his off-days to have him lower on their lists. This kid is a natural, with the size, hands and sense to be a legitimate scoring presence at the highest level, but the uneven compete levels and lack of physicality sometimes are maddening, so if he drops past 30, it wouldn't surprise.
Projection: Top-six scoring forward with 30+ goal upside or bust. An adequate defensive player who is capable when he wants to be, but will break down in his discipline and effort in his own end sometimes. That's not likely to give an NHL coach the confidence to put him on the bottom two lines and hope for the best.
Background: Parents are Dan and Majbritt Jensen. Father is an Ontario native who played in the OHL and then played pro hockey in Denmark where he married Nicklas' mother and settled down. Jensen's grandparents live in Toronto, so there was no real language or cultural barrier to him when he came over from Denmark this season. Played in Danish pro league last season with Herning Blue Foxes, winning rookie of the year with 26 points in 34 games. Posted dominant stats in leading Denmark out of the 2010 under-18 championship b-pool. Ranked 21st on Central Scouting's final list. From the same town as Ottawa forward Peter Regin. Favorite NHL team: Washington Capitals Favorite NHL player: Alexander Ovechkin
If Jensen had his own soundtrack it would be: "Hot N Cold"- Katy Perry
“Jensen is a a bit of an enigma. You watch him and can see the great shot and offensive hockey sense, but he'll go long stretches where he looks indifferent. It's hard to square those looks with the ones you get when he's on his game and the best player on the ice for Oshawa."-NHL scout to B2011DW; June, 2011
"It's the best junior league in the world. It's just to give the scouts a better look at me. In Denmark there's not that many scouts. Over here, there's scouts at every game. It's better for me, especially in my draft year, to be seen a little more."- Nicklas Jensen to NHL.com, June, 2011 Full story here.
““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.”
- NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards to NHL.com, Apr-May, 2011
Neate Sager's Draft Tracker feature on Nicklas Jensen
NHL.com feature on Nicklas Jensen