Jannik Hansen was born March 15, 1986 in Herlev, Denmark. The ninth round, 287th overall selection of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Hansen honed his skills in Denmark prior to his arrival in North America.
A speedy forward, Hansen joined the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks in 2005-06 and was a steady point-per-game player. He made the leap to the professional ranks of hockey the following season, appearing in 72 games with the Canucks' AHL affiliate in Manitoba. Following that season, the Herlev, Denmark native appeared in 10 playoff games with the Cancuks and returned to the line-up for 5 regular season games in 2007-08.
In 2008, Hansen would make the Canucks out of training camp and scored his first NHL goal against the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings. In all, Hansen would appear in 55 games for the Canucks in 2008-09, scoring six times.