Nicklas Jensen Signs In The KHL
New York Rangers prospect Nicklas Jensen, who is currently a restricted free agent, has signed a 1-year contract with Jokerit of the KHL. Since Nicklas came to the organization in a trade with Vancouver for Emerson Etem, he has been assigned to the team’s minor league affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack. Despite being a call up on a couple of occasions, he couldn’t keep himself with the big club long enough to call it home.
#Jokerit and Nicklas Jensen have agreed on a 1-year deal (+option for 2018-19). Jensen was 2nd in goal scoring in the AHL last season. #KHL pic.twitter.com/sucWTlaHY6
— Jokerit Helsinki (@Jokerit_EN) July 12, 2017
Nicklas Jensen signing overseas is somewhat of a loss for the Rangers organization, as he was probably one of their best forwards in the AHL. While he only played seven games with the Rangers, the 24-year-old forward was coming off of a good season with the Wolfpack, earning 55 points in 70 games this season. But, let’s be honest. He isn’t getting any younger and with more and more players getting closer to being NHL ready, his window of opportunity was coming to an end in New York.
There is one added wrinkle to Jensen heading over to Europe. Because Jensen was qualified by GM Jeff Gorton as a restricted free agent, the Rangers still control his rights. Meaning, if he has a great year over in the KHL, the Rangers will be the only team that can engage him in contract negotiations. This has happened once before with the Rangers when Mats Zuccarello, after playing in the KHL in the 2012-13 season, rejoined the Rangers when the lockout and KHL season ended.
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