Sunday, June 19, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Nicklas Jensen #21

By Eldon MacDonald

21. Nicklas Jensen - “The Great Dane” - W - Denmark

Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 187 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 6-Mar-93 - Herning, DEN
Team: Oshawa, OHL
2010-11 Stats: 61-29-29-58-57-(+10) + OHL playoffs 10-7-5-11-(+1)
16 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
17 - McKeen's June Top 30
19 - The Hockey News per TSN
19 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
21 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
21 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
21 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
22 - ISS per TSN
23 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
24 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
25 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
26 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (21st North American skater)
29 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
31 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
Draft result:
29 - Vancouver Canucks

That loquacious, liberator of long lost phrases, Bob Cole from Hockey Night in Canada, probably has the best phrase to describe Nicklas Jensen when he issues his trademark comment for all things spectacular, “Oh, baby”. Perhaps, a more refined description of Nicklas’ style comes from his boss, Oshawa Generals GM-Coach, Chris DePiero, when Neate Sager at Draft Tracker had him describe a goal that Nicklas scored early in the season, "It was almost like a Jean Béliveau or Jean Ratelle kind of goal. He's got an uncanny ability to break a game open, He's got an intensity about him that's pretty solid." So there you have it, a big time, game-breaker type of guy, a natural with the size and skills to make it happen, he has the possibility of becoming the first “Great Dane” in hockey.

So who is Nicklas Jensen??? Well his Dad, Dan, was a Canadian hockey player who went over to Denmark to play 16 seasons in the Danish leagues and eventually marry and settle there. So, Nicklas already has more than a little Canadian in him and speaks English without an accent which comes from his Dad speaking to him in English all the time. He also has grand-parents in the Toronto area so he often had family at his games in nearby Oshawa.

The key word about Nicklas Jensen’s play is “more”. Give me more of those spectacular end to end rushes, give me more of that NHL ready wrister, show me those moves, show me those hands, show me that big-time goal. However, Nicklas is still a work in progress as might be expected of a player in his first year on this side of the pond and from a non-traditional hockey nation to boot. His biggest problem is his consistency as sometimes he doesn’t appear to be competing as hard as you would like. His season really took off when he had a spectacular January but then it tapered off until it finally came back in the playoffs. Upper body strength is also an issue as he doesn’t do well in puck competitions in the corners. So, Nicklas has the skills and he has the size when his body fills out so the major concern is really the consistency issue which could go away naturally with further maturity or not.

So where does this potential “Great Dane” go in the draft??? There is a fairly tight consensus for mid to late first round for this guy as the potential is just too big to pass up.

NHLDraftVideo made a nice compilation video for Nicklas on YouTube below. Love that shot, “Oh, baby”.


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