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Nick Jensen
Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
Vitals: 6’1” / 193 lbs.
Birthdate: September 21, 1990
Hometown: Rogers, Minnesota
Acquired: Detroit’s fifth choice (150th overall) in the 2009 draft
CSS Ranking: 120th North American skater (2009)
Contract: 2015 (via
RWC Says: Two-Way Defenseman


  • 2008-09 USHL top plus-minus (plus-34)
  • 2011-12 WCHA All-Conference Third Team
  • 2012-13 All-WCHA First Team
  • 2012-13 NCAA West First Team All-American
  • 2012-13 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year

  • Led Rogers-Zimmerman High School in scoring for the second straight year.
  • Selected in the fifth round (70th overall) by Green Bay in the USHL draft.
  • Broke into USHL and had a good rookie campaign (52-5-17-22, 62 shots).
  • Posted a USHL-best plus-34 rating, albeit on the league’s best team.
  • Tied for 17th among all USHL defensemen in scoring.
  • Quiet post-season as Green Bay lost in Clark Cup semifinals.
  • Selected in the fifth round (150th overall) of the NHL draft by Detroit.
  • Returned to USHL with Green Bay and had another solid year (53-6-21-27, 106 shots).
  • Plus-36 tied for fourth in USHL and made him a career plus-70 for Green Bay.
  • Ranked 10th in scoring among USHL defensemen and second on Green Bay.
  • Helped Green Bay to a dominating first-place finish (45-10-5).
  • Tied for second in scoring among USHL defensemen (12-2-6-8) en route to championship.
  • Helped United States to gold-medal finish at world junior A challenge (5-1-2-3) in November.
  • Made a smooth transition to the U.S. college game as sophomore at St. Cloud State (38-5-18-23).
  • Logged ice time in all situations and finished with a minus-5 rating and 58 shots on goal.
  • Started season on a hot streak (10-2-7-9) but didn’t slow too much afterward (28-3-11-14).
  • Finished 11th among WCHA defensemen and third among WCHA freshmen blueliners in scoring.
  • Fell short of a spot on the WCHA all-rookie team.
  • Returned to St. Cloud State as sophomore, third in team scoring (39-6-26-32, plus-14, 68 shots).
  • Scored a hat trick on Dec. 17, St. Cloud State’s first since Bret Hedican in more than two decades.
  • Averaged more than a point per game from his hat trick game on (20-5-16-21).
  • Fourth among WCHA defensemen in scoring behind Justin Schultz, Nate Schmidt and Joey LaLeggia.
  • Returned to St. Cloud State for junior season and served as alternate captain.
  • Logged heavy minutes for Huskies against top opposition lines (42-4-27-31, 76 SOG, plus-19).
  • Ranked fourth in WCHA defense scoring (27-4-19-23) and led WCHA blueliners in assists (19).
  • Ranked second in assists (27), sixth in points (31) and T7th in plus-minus among NCAA blueliners.
  • Helped St. Cloud State advance to Frozen Four before it succumbed to Quinnipiac in semifinals.
  • Signed two-year entry-level contract with Red Wings on May 2.

“The offensive upside is what we’re exciting about, the skating ability. His skating is his best asset and he’s a good puck-mover.” — Red Wings scout David Kolb (June 2009) … “His defensive play has come a long ways from where it was in (his draft year) — which is a credit to his coaches the past two years. He is almost impossible to beat one-on-one at this level because of his mobility … He likes to make open-ice hits and stand guys up at the blue line.” — Kolb (November 2010) … “Every game I’ve seen him, he was the hardest competitive guy (on the ice) and he’s got the heart of a lion. 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.” — Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer (April 2013).

Tremendous skating is the foundation of his game, with high top speed and great agility … Likes to jump into the play … Can lead the rush by carrying the puck or making a good first pass to a forward … Plenty of untapped offensive potential with his foot-speed … Willing to battle physically and likes to throw open-ice hits, although he is hardly a bruiser … Doesn’t get into much trouble when he takes offensive risks because he has the wheels to get back defensively … Comes from a hockey family, as his dad, Jeff Jensen, played at Lake Superior State and was a Colorado Rockies draft choice … Strong academically and is majoring in engineering at St. Cloud State.

Defensive game will need to improve to take next step … Can get caught chasing the puck in his own zone … Needs to avoid doing too much with the puck, such as skating it through the neutral zone when a pass will suffice … Shot has improved but still not a great strength.

The swift-skating Jensen has improved by leaps and bounds since being drafted but has done it quietly without attracting much attention. He has emerged as a solid prospect — a potential No. 4 puck-moving blueliner — and did everything the Red Wings asked during his three seasons at St. Cloud State. He’ll turn 23 years old just prior to the 2013-14 season and his strength and maturity should help him establish himself as an AHL regular in Grand Rapids.

Player statistics powered by

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2006-2007 Rogers High Varsity USHS 21 20 17 37 - |          
 2007-2008 Rogers High Varsity USHS 14 14 13 27 - |          
 2008-2009 Green Bay Gamblers USHL 52 5 17 22 27 | Playoffs 7 0 1 1
 2009-2010 Green Bay Gamblers USHL 53 6 21 27 35 | Playoffs 12 2 6 8
 2010-2011 St. Cloud State Univ. NCAA 38 5 18 23 18 |          
 2011-2012 St. Cloud State Univ. NCAA 39 6 26 32 4 |          
 2012-2013 St. Cloud State Univ. NCAA 41 4 27 31 14 |          
 2013-2014 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 43 0 9 9 8 |          
  Toledo Walleye ECHL 3 0 0 0 0 |          

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