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Jensen has the ‘heart of a lion’

Published Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 10:02 a.m. under 2012-13 RWC Reports
Nick Jensen

Nick Jensen (Credit: WCHA.com)

Nick Jensen generally flies under the radar, but he’s quietly developed into one of the Detroit Red Wings best defense prospects.

Not in the organization’s top 10 prospects as ranked by The Hockey News or Red Wings Central, Jensen was recently named Western Collegiate Hockey Association defensive player of the year and will represent the St. Cloud State Huskies at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh next weekend.

His continued strong play, especially late in the year, is cause for optimism, especially when you factor in that the organization has several other outstanding defensive prospects: Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman and Alexey Marchenko.

“Every game I’ve seen him, he was the hardest competitive guy (on the ice) and he’s got the heart of a lion,” said Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer. “He’s in people’s faces, he’s taking people’s space away thanks to his skating, and he makes great outlet passes. He’s had a great year and we’re really happy with his development.”

Jensen, a 6-foot-1, 193-pound junior, has four goals and 27 assists for 31 points in 41 games, tops among St. Cloud State’s blueliners, while recording a plus-22 rating and 73 shots.

He’s come a long way since being drafted in the fifth round (150th overall) in 2009 from the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers. At the time, the Red Wings considered him a brilliant skater with raw offensive potential and weren’t sure how his all-around game would develop.

Fischer wouldn’t comment on whether Jensen would be signed to forego his senior season at St. Cloud State, but he’s turning 23 in September and has matured physically to the point where he could likely step into an American Hockey League lineup.

Another Red Wings defense prospect, Ben Marshall of the heavily favoured Minnesota Golden Gophers, saw his season come to an end last week short of the Frozen Four with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Yale Bulldogs.

Fischer said Marshall had a great second half after starting the year bouncing between defense and forward due to the Gophers’ incredible depth. The 5-foot-9, 183-pound sophomore has received significant power-play time since then and had eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 40 games along with a plus-eight rating and 73 shots.

“Ben really found a way to establish himself — he runs the power play, he’s making great plays, he’s a top-four defenseman every night,” Fischer said prior to the loss to Yale. “He’s finding ways to get acclimated to the college level and how to produce.”

Marshall will return to Minnesota for his junior season and the Red Wings will be looking for him to increase his production even more.

NOTES: Goaltender Jake Paterson (Saginaw, OHL) and defensemen Ryan Sproul (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) and Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, WHL) have all been eliminated from the CHL playoffs … Winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Jokerit, Finnish SM-Liiga) had a productive first round before his team was eliminated, with two goals and three assists in six games … Winger Philippe Hudon (Victoriaville, QMJHL) is a long-shot to earn a contract, but he did score five goals in five games in the Tigres’ first-round upset of the Moncton Wildcats … The Red Wings’ top minor-league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Grifins, lead the AHL’s Midwest Division with a 39-23-6 record Center Calle Jarnkrok (Grand Rapids, AHL) has no points in four games since coming over from Sweden … Winger Tomas Jurco (Grand Rapids, AHL) is on a good scoring run, with four goals and five assists in 14 games … Forward Louis-Marc Aubry (Grand Rapids, AHL) earned a one-game suspension for a check to the head last week. He was also suspended for six games earlier this season for leaving the bench to join an altercation … The Red Wings signed Western Michigan defenseman Danny DeKeyser to a two-year contract last week. DeKeyser was ranked as Red Line Report’s No. 1 college free agent, described by the publication as an NHL-ready “stay-at-home” defenseman who is a “strong all-compass skater.” “He’s physical and wins battles down low, keeps the crease clear and plays with a nasty edge,” the report reads. “Outstanding penalty killer who blocks a ton of shots.”

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL AHL 4 0 0 0 0 +2 4
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids AHL AHL 58 23 37 60 34 +10 169
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL AHL 65 19 19 38 44 +2 134
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids AHL AHL 36 10 17 27 55 +1 84
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL AHL 34 3 6 9 35 +6 39
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids AHL AHL 37 2 4 6 23 +6 40
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 54 22 24 46 48 +10 183
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL AHL 61 9 19 28 32 +9 81
Nicastro, Max Grand Rapids AHL AHL 23 1 2 3 10 0 17
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL AHL 35 3 6 9 41 +1 27
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL AHL 66 16 19 35 31 +7 100
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL AHL 57 4 8 12 55 +2 72
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL AHL 63 11 9 20 88 -2 122
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 66 11 12 23 20 +3 104
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL AHL 23 1 4 5 23 -2 17
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL AHL 21 3 3 6 2 +1 24
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids AHL AHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL ECHL 64 28 40 68 22 +6 260
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo ECHL ECHL 40 11 30 41 26 +17 113
Fournier, Gleason Toledo ECHL ECHL 15 1 0 1 12 +8 19
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL ECHL 19 14 16 30 6 +6 86
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State WCHA NCAA 41 4 27 31 14 +22 73
Marshall, Ben Minnesota WCHA NCAA 40 8 11 19 20 +8 73
McKee, Mike Lincoln USHL USHL/JR-A 41 3 18 21 292 +15 60
De Haas, James Penticton BCHL USHL/JR-A 53 5 19 24 19
Frk, Martin Halifax QMJHL CHL 56 35 49 84 84 +31 180
Ouellet, Xavier Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL CHL 50 10 31 41 44 +14 166
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 65 15 20 35 63 -1 139
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie OHL CHL 50 20 46 66 45 0
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 66 29 38 67 30 +13
Quine, Alan Belleville OHL CHL 52 23 44 67 30 +13
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver WHL CHL 18 8 14 22 16 +2
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current WHL CHL 72 7 21 28 105 -13
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL EUR 53 13 29 42 12 -2 136
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 53 2 24 26 34 +5 67
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN EUR 59 14 20 34 49 +5 260
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow KHL EUR 44 4 5 9 6 -2 46
Bodin, Rasmus Tranas SWE-3 EUR 6 0 3 3 0 -5
Bodin, Rasmus HV-71 SWE-J20 EUR-JR 13 0 1 1 10 -1 11

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 50 25 18 5 1 3.53 .901
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 28 15 11 3 2 2.71 .902
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 4 0 3 0 0 4.32 .847
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 37 21 13 2 1 2.37 .915
Mrazek, Petr Toledo ECHL 3 2 1 0 0 2.02 .944
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 31 15 11 3 2 2.76 .899

SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow KHL EUR 7 0 0 0 0 -1 5
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL EUR 4 0 0 0 6 -3 7
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 8 2 3 5 2 +8 15
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN EUR 6 2 3 5 2 +2 38
Frk, Martin Halifax QMJHL CHL 4 6 4 10 0 +5 25
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 5 5 1 6 4 +3 15
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Broisbriand QMJHL CHL 5 1 4 5 14 +6 12
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie OHL CHL 6 2 3 5 0 -4
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 4 4 3 7 0 +5
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current WHL CHL 5 0 1 1 2 -2
De Haas, James Penticton BCHL USHL/JR-A 8 3 3 6 6

GOALIES: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 4 0 4 0 5.36 .860
22 Comments
  1. Tom says:

    Stevie Y: If you look up to my post from Friday, Nedomlel is already signed for next year. That was announced on RDS last week.

  2. Nik says:

    Athanasiou got OHL player of the week. Nice to see him playing so well in the playoffs. Turning into a really good late round pick

  3. Stevie Y says:

    Tom, please show me the link where it says Nedomlel signed with the Wings. Just because someone posted it here doesn’t make it a reality until you see it posted on either the Wings or Griffins site. I don’t see a link so as far as I am concerned he isn’t officially signed yet.

  4. Stevie Y says:

    Nedomlel and Paterson are signed to amateur tryouts with the Griffins as of today. Nedomlel has yet to sign an entry level deal. He must sign that deal by June 1 or he becomes a free agent. Paterson has one more year before he needs to sign.

  5. J. says:

    Stevie Y

    See the list of non-roster players.
    http://www.capgeek.com/redwings/

  6. RW19 says:

    I think Stevie Y is right. The RDS guy jumped the gun and all that Nedomlel has signed is the amateur tryout agreement with the Griffins. Here is the actual link from March 26. It sounds like he needs to show his stuff before the Wings actually ink him.

    http://www.scbroncos.com/article/nedomlel-signs-ato-with-grand-rapids-griffins

  7. tom. wford says:

    Ken Holland has Dekeyser shown you Anything? You don’t need to send players to GR to Rot. Let them come to Detroit and play. And better get Bigger moving to the East. If not maybe its time for you to Leave. Maybe Nill shouldv’e stayed and sent you to Dallas. Wake your old ass up!!!! Go Wings!



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