2011 NHL Entry Draft Prospects: Nicklas Jensen

With the first story in the Blueshirt Banter draft pick previews, I select, Nicklas Jensen, RW, Oshawa Generals.

The Denmarkian Danish winger is listed at 6'3, 186lbs, and recently turned 18 years of age. He is coming off his first season in the OHL, where he posted a respectable line of 29-29-58 in 61 games, with another 7-4-11 in 10 playoff games. In 2009-2010, he played in the Danish league, putting up 12 goals and 26 points in 34 games for the Herning Red Fox. Yeah, I don't know who they are either. However, he did earn rookie of the year in the process, joining current NHL players Frans Nielsen and Peter Regin as those who have received that honor.

Through the wonders of NHL equivalencies, we can take a closer look at his numbers:

Year Age Team League GP G A P Factor NHLE PPG 82 Game
2009-10 17 Herning Blue Fox Denmark 34 12 14 26 0.28 0.214 17.56
2010-11 18 Oshawa Generals OHL 61 29 29 58 0.30 0.285 23.39

*Age determined at finish of regular season. Danish League factor estimated based on comparisons to established Sweden/Finnish league comparables. Thanks to Derek Zona for the information.

Jensen's 17 NHLE points as a 17 year old and 23 as an 18 year old compare favorably with current Rangers' benchmarks Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. Thanks to some fantastic work put in by SBNation user SumOil (here and here), we find another strong positive. The majority of his goal scoring came at even strength, which is often a reliable indicator that his production will translate well. The one knock on his boxscore stats is the 28 zero-point games he amassed during the regular season.

Continue reading after the jump for some quotes from people that have actually seen him.

From the scouting report on his NHL.com prospect card:

NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards
"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."

Oshawa Generals GM and coach Chris DePiero
"He's starting to take off, certainly after Christmas, after he returned from the World Junior B pool and spending some time at home, since he's been back he's been on fire. It's renewed confidence for him. He's proving that the accolades coming his way are well deserved. They feed off each other (Lucas Lessio, Andy Andreoff and Nicklas Jensen). It's not the pretty passing plays, it's the little touch passes. They utilize their size and their quickness. Their puck protection is excellent. … They have a chemistry, the three of them. It's been kind of neat."

From the scoutingreport.org:

A big riser from our previous OHL rankings, Jensen has exploded since coming back from the World Junior D-1 Championships. He’s a dynamic player with great skating ability and with his size, he can fight through checks and use his skating ability to go end to end or break plays through the neutral zone. Consistency was an issue for him, but he looks to be bringing it more every game now.

From Kirk Luedeke of the Bruins 2011 Draft Watch:

Perhaps the best player ever to come out of Denmark, this power forward prospect has it all: size, skill and some real intriguing NHL potential if he could just figure out how to keep his on switch engaged throughout a game...........If Boone Jenner's motor was installed inside this kid, he'd be a top-three pick- no kidding. Big upside with this one, but some bust potential as well.

The numbers and the scouts basically tell the same story with Jensen, he has a lot of skill, but his ability to 'bring it' on a nightly basis is keeping him in draftable reach for the Rangers.  For a team devoid of skill but certainly not devoid of enigmas, he presents an interesting, yet risky option for the 15th pick in the draft.

Would you draft him at 15?  Let us know in the comments.