Nicklas Jensen has appeared in 24 games at the National Hockey League level, all as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Now a Rangers' 23 year-old forward prospect, Jensen is hoping that his next NHL game comes with New York, and preferably after making the big team out of training camp this fall.
Coming off a career-best 19 goals and 37 points in the AHL in 2015-16, Jensen agreed to terms on a new contract with the Rangers Tuesday, and now can turn his attention 100 percent to achieving that goal.
"I am so excited for training camp because I do see a good opportunity there for me," Jensen told BlueshirtsUnited.com. "My goal is to make the Rangers right out of camp, to impress the coaches and have them trust me."
The Rangers acquired Jensen in a one-for-one deal that saw forward Emerson Etem head to Vancouver last January. Though Jensen, who had three goals and six points in 24 games over parts of three seasons with the Canucks, spent the rest of the season playing with the Hartford Wolf Pack, he made a strong impression on his new organization.
Jensen scored 15 goals over 41 games with Hartford, and after his acquisition the team took off and played its best hockey of the season, eventually falling just short of a berth in the AHL playoffs.
"I had chemistry right away with Marek Hrivik, so that helped, but overall the trade to New York taught me a lot and was the best thing for me," explained Jensen. "Being a first rounder in Vancouver, there was a lot of pressure. I was still in my developing years and I think the Rangers got me at a great time. Now I want to take that next step."
Jensen, who was Vancouver's first round selection in the 2011 NHL Draft when Alain Vigneault was the team's head coach, followed up his strong play with the Wolf Pack this spring with an outstanding performance at the World Championships, further bolstering his confidence heading into 2016-17.
Playing for his native Denmark, Jensen led the team with five goals and seven points in eight games. He also scored twice in the shootout and had a pair of game-winners for the surprising Danish squad.
"I believe I have a good chance to play in the NHL, but it all starts in training camp, and I'm going to make sure I am ready for that opportunity," stated Jensen. "Having a chance to play for the New York Rangers organization is unbelievable. I want to make the most of my chance here."