The 16-year-old climbed from ninth place to finish fifth in the men’s free skate at the world championships in Shanghai, China.
“In the long program I needed to be more aggressive,” Nguyen told reporters. “I achieved that today and I’m really happy with myself.”
Fellow Canadian Jeremy Ten of Vancouver placed 22nd.
Spain’s Javier Fernandez cleanly landed two quad jumps to earn the gold medal, while Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and Denis Ten of Kazakhstand finished second and third, respectively.