Local hockey player reflects on third season in Western Hockey League
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 06:00 am
The 2013/14 Western Hockey League season was a year of a change for Airdrie native Spenser Jensen.
The 18-year-old defenseman began his third campaign in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers, but was traded by the team that selected him in the first round of the 2010 draft to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Jan. 3, where he would finish the season.
“I felt that I was able to pick things up during the last bit of the season compared to the first half,” Jensen said.
“I really felt like I stepped up my game once I came into Moose Jaw, and I hope to build off of that going into next season.”
Although he had three assists in 28 games for the Tigers, Jensen said he was looking for a change of scenery when he left Medicine Hat on Dec. 16 to return to Airdrie and wait for a trade.
“I just didn’t think that it was the place for me to develop as a player, and I didn’t think that I was playing enough to allow me to become a better player,” Jensen said.
“Hockey’s a business for everyone once you get up to this level, and I wanted to do what I felt was best for myself in moving on,” he added.
The Airdrie native would get his wish on Jan. 3, when he was dealt to the Warriors for a pair of draft picks in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
While the Warriors would miss out on the playoffs, Jensen was able to become one of the leaders on the back end, as he had four assists in 30 games for Moose Jaw.
“It really felt like a fresh start for me once I got to Moose Jaw,” Jensen said.
“My ice time went up compared to what it was in Medicine Hat, and once the ball started rolling I had a lot of momentum.”
“I was one of the older guys in the dressing room there, so I tried to help out as much as I could,” he added.
“My biggest thing was to try and help the younger guys keep their heads up in the tough times, as it’s never fun when you are losing games.”
Although the Warriors finished up the season 24 points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 21-42-3-6 record, Jensen feels the team will have a strong campaign next year, as many of its top players will be returning.
“We have some strong guys up front such as (2014 NHL Draft prospect) Brayden Point, and we have some other forwards who played on our third and fourth lines this year who I’m sure will be moving up in our depth charts after the summer,” Jensen said.
“On defence, we will be bringing back pretty much everyone, which is always a good thing,” he added.
“I have a lot of faith in the younger guys, and I think our team will come back better than ever.”