Just because a coach doesn't give a rookie a full season doesn't mean he's tossing the guy to the Wolves (rimshot). Many players have to do the shuffle between the farm and the big team. In many cases, that's the plan before the season even starts. Give the player a taste, see if he can take the reins, and if not, he's got an idea of where he needs to improve and work on that in the minors.
Would still like to see AV take a risk on a rookie to develop him a bit more quicker than the way you described, and I think Jensen would be that guy
next season to try that on, as the way AV talked about him in the Sept. 2011 training camp before.
Here’s Alain Vigneault, upon being asked about Jensen’s play last Saturday. From Elliott Pap:
“Love him,” said Coach V with an enormous grin. “I mean, I was waiting for somebody to ask me a question about him. There’s a young man that, from what I’ve seen so far, has a tremendous amount of upside. No fear. He just goes out and plays and I’m really happy the organization was able to come to terms with him.”
[...] Now it’s our responsibility to develop him,” Vigneault said. “There is so much upside there and you just can’t buy that size and skill. We’ll do everything we can to help him become the best player he can be.”
PassItToBulis makes an interesting observation,
Still, it’s Vigneault’s insistence on proper development — a point that appears in both quotes — that raises the eyebrow.
Clearly, he and the rest of the Canucks’ coaching staff believe they have something very special in Jensen, and it’s therefore vital to ensure the kid develops the right way. But, considering what happened to Cody Hodgson and Luc Bourdon when they were returned to juniors — where they showed up for training camp the following year less NHL-ready – you wonder if Vigneault is willing to let Jensen out of his sight.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Jensen is about to be given a permanent spot in the Canucks’ lineup, but do I think it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he gets at least nine NHL games with the team (the maximum amount before he burns a year on his entry-level deal) before he’s returned to the OHL.