Spenser Jensen is coming off his final season in U SPORTS with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns where he found value balancing playing hockey with his academics.
Jensen, prior to joining the Pronghorns, spent four seasons in the Western Hockey League between the Medicine Hat Tigers and Moose Jaw Warriors. The product of Airdrie, Alta. remembers the excitement that came with joining the league after he was picked 14th overall at the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft by the Tabbies.
“I was really excited to be drafted by the Tigers. They had an organization that had a winning culture and was fairly close to my hometown in Airdrie, Alta.,” Jensen said. ” My parents weren’t complaining about it either.”
Jensen found value in the league’s environment and remembers his fondest memories as developing friendships with his teammates. Jensen credits the travelling to how he became a leader on and off the ice, as well as to the lifelong friendships he made while in the WHL.
Jensen’s WHL playing career concluded with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2015, playing in 237 regular season games while notching 36 points (4G-32A). In 2013 Jensen was invited to the San Jose Sharks training camp.
For Jensen one of the greatest takeaways he gained from the WHL was the consistency on the ice. This was something he would take with him off the ice as he saw the value of perusing a post-secondary degree.
“The WHL helped me grow that skill for sure,” Jensen said. “In terms of off the ice, I think it helped me learn how to deal with pressure and specifically that pressure to perform.
“When you move on from hockey there is lots of pressure as far as exams, job interviews and other events.”
Jensen saw the opportunity to utilize his WHL Scholarship to obtain a degree in accounting at the Dhillon School of Business while continuing to play hockey with the Pronghorns.
“University of Lethbridge was a great spot for me to get my degree while still enjoying highly competitive hockey.”
While playing in the WHL and with the Pronghorns, another takeaway Jensen gained from playing at a high level was the importance of working as a team to face challenges, weather it be grinding out a road trip across Western Canada or working on a group project for school.
“With everyone on the team going through similar time conflicts it always helps to get into classes with teammates. That way you can study together which helps everyone stay motivated to do well.”
Jensen attributes much of his decision to the value of gaining a degree while still playing at a high level. Staying on top of his studies, Jensen maintained a 3.70 GPA and earned status as an Academic All-Canadian.
“I think it’s just a great opportunity to put yourself in the right place for the future.”
“The advantage of graduating first is you have the security and back-up plan in place for after pro if you decide to go that route. Along with that, it is great to get your degree paid for while leaving school with minimal dept moving into the first stage of adult life, which isn’t common in today’s day and age.”
Jensen’s dedication to sport and school has set the 24-year-old up for success in his post-playing career in a community that welcomed him with open arms.