Getting to Know… Nick Jensen

Posted March 3, 2019

(Caps Outsider)

One of the newest Capitals, defenseman Nick Jensen, recently joined the team from Detroit, then proceeded to sign a 4-year, $10 million contract. In interviews, he stated he had “begun to feel at home in Washington.”

A native of Minnesota, Jensen joined the United States Hockey League after high school, playing for the Green Bay Gamblers in Wisconsin. He tallied 49 points throughout 105 games for Green Bay between 2008 and 2010 and in 2009, the next step in his professional career beckoned as he was signed in the fifth round at 150th overall in the NHL entry level draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

After his drafting and with everything to play for, a chance to return home beckoned for Jensen. He pulled on the jersey for the St. Cloud State Huskies in Minnesota of the NCAA Men’s Division in. Jensen posted a successful freshman season with 5 goals and and 18 assists in 38 games for the Huskies. This was followed by two more seasons in St Cloud during which Jensen was awarded the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the NCAA West First All-American Team.

In 2013, Jensen signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Red Wings and began his time with their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapid Griffins, for the 2014-15 season. He played in 222 games for the Griffins before finally being recalled by the Red Wings during the 2015-16 season – but did not make the starting lineup. Having signed a two-year contract extension with the Red Wings in 2015, Jensen’s debut at the top level was not far away.

December 2016 saw Jensen get the break he was after, recalled by the Red Wings and lining up for his debut against the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 26, 2017. The defenseman went on to become a regular part of the Red Wings’ starting lineup, playing in 49 games for the Wings in 2017.

Jensen played 141 games for the Red Wings between 2017 and 2019, as a key part of Detroit’s defensive unit. In 2018, alongside Detroit teammate Dylan Larkin, Jensen was named to the United States Squad for the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark, where he won a bronze medal.

In 2019, in the final year of his contract with the Red Wings, a change of scenery arose for Jensen as he the Washington Capitals sought his assistance, in exchange for Madison Bowey and a second round pick in the 2020 draft before signing an extension almost immediately.

Jensen brings a solid defensive game to the Caps’ lineup and is excited to start afresh in Washington with a run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs looming.