Photo Credit: Anders Henrikson/Flickr

Will Nicklas Jensen Burn A Year of His Contract Playing for Canucks?

The Vancouver Canucks will be re-assigning 2011 first rounder Nicklas Jensen to the Chicago Wolves this Friday if they can get approval from the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, according to Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning.

“We hope to get him to Chicago,” Henning told the Province. “But his junior team has to approve it. We’re working on that right now.”

The Canucks need permission from Oshawa because they hold Jensen’s Canadian major junior hockey rights.

Jensen, who was assigned to AIK of the Swedish Elite League in September, is finished his European season after his team missed the playoffs. He played his last game on Monday against Timra IK. Jensen, playing on the top line, had a goal in AIK’s 3-1 win to finish the season with 17 goals and 23 points in 50 games.

Section 9.1(d) of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player, who signs his entry-level contract at age 18 or 19, but does not play in ten or more games, will have his contract extended by one year.

(i) In the event that an 18 year old or 19 year old Player signs an SPC with a Club but does not play at least ten (10) NHL Games in the first season under that SPC, the term of his SPC and his number of years in the Entry Level System shall be extended for a period of one (1) year, except that this automatic extension will not apply to a Player who is 19 according to Section 9.2 by virtue of turning 20 between September 16 and December 31 in the year in which he first signs an SPC.

The Canucks, by re-assigning Jensen to the Wolves, will ensure his contract will “slide” for another year. This means his three-year entry-level contract will not kick in until the 2013-14 season unless he plays in more than five  games (usually ten, but reduced to 5 games in shortened season) for the Canucks this year.

Presumably, Jensen will be able to play these five games in the playoffs since Section 9.1 (d)(i) doesn’t stipulate regular season or playoff games.

Fans may remember last season, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider joined the team for the playoffs after his season with Boston College ended. The first year of Kreider’s contracted was burned by virtue of him joining the Rangers.

As far as we know, the same won’t apply to Jensen since he signed his entry-level contract at the age of 18. Kreider signed his contract at age 21 (calculated on September 15 of the year of the contract is signed). Therefore, Section 9.1(d) did not apply to Kreider, which means his contract cannot “slide.”

The Rangers burned a year of Kreider’s contract because they chose to have the contract kick in the same year as it was signed to make him available to play in the playoffs. He would have been ineligible to play in the playoffs if the Rangers chose to have his contract begin in the 2012-13 season. Kreider would have been able to only join the Conneticut Whale, the Rangers’ AHL team, on an amateur tryout and play for them in the playoffs, but not the Rangers.

The answer (as far as we know) is Jensen won’t burn the first year of his entry-level contract as long as he remains with the Wolves and does not play more than five games with the Canucks this year.


Photo Credit: Anders Henrikson/Flickr

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