The Canucks recalled their 2011 first round draft pick, Nicklas Jensen today.
Alex Burrows was a late scratch in the Canucks’ last game, allowing Zack Kassian to be thrust into lineup to score two goals. Jensen gives the Canucks 13 healthy forwards, so it remains to be seen if he will play on Sunday or if he will watch from the press box.
Here’s the press release from the Canucks:
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have recalled forward Nicklas Jensen from the AHL Utica Comets.
Jensen, 21, has appeared in five games with the Canucks this season and collected 20 points (10-10-20) in 38 games played with the Comets. The Herning, Denmark native has played 24 career NHL games, recording six points (3-3-6) and 10 penalty minutes.
The 6’3”, 202 pound forward was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, 29th overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Based on how poorly the line of Derek Dorsett, Shawn Matthias, Brendan McMillan played, coupled with how well Kassian played on Friday, McMillan is a top healthy scratch candidate tomorrow. McMillan was brought in to be an energy guy, but I think Jeff Paterson summed-up his performance on Friday perfectly:
Maybe it's picking on the guy, I don't know, but Brandon McMillan 0 shot attempts, 0 hits, 0 blocks. No stat line in 10:51 of ice time
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 21, 2015
I don’t think Burrows will be out long term, but we haven’t received any sort of update, so we are left to wonder.
Is this Jensen recall to try and get more balance throughout the lineup? Or is Burrows expected to be out a while, and it just hasn’t been announced? Perhaps Jensen is being given a shot to show what he’s got because the Canucks are exploring trade options with only a week until the deadline.
In any case, I don’t expect the Canucks to move a player like Jensen at the deadline, given GM Jim Benning has raved about his game in the past. However moving a player like Higgins or Hansen would create a spot that needs to be filled and McMillan hasn’t shown anything to deserve that spot, albeit in limited time. So that leaves Jensen to come in and show that he deserves a full-time job in the NHL.
Hopefully Jensen can come up and inject some youthful energy that the likes of Bo Horvat and Ronalds Kenins have shown recently.
Feature Image: canucks.nhl.com