Hockey

The Captain: Lucky Number 38

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Boone Jenner became captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, on October 7, 2021. He has spent all of his NHL career with Columbus and has seen the ebbs and flows of the team with coaches like Todd Richards and most recently, John Tortorella. After Nick Foligno departed in the year of the bubble, the team has gone without a captain until then.

During Foligno’s time, Jenner was an alternate and there was talk of Zach Werenski or Seth Jones taking the mantle but after the NHL entry draft, it really narrowed down the veterans available for leadership.

Oshawa and NHL Debut

Up until the 2013-14 season, Jenner played 227 games with the Oshawa Generals in the OHL and his career point total of 222 points.

Is a “lead by example” type who has a high compete level, relentless work ethic, and he can put the puck in the net. Has good size, is willing to go to the dirty areas to score and sticks his nose in to win puck battles. He drives the pace of play and can play in all game situations, but has to become more consistent in order to maximize his abilities.

Long Range Potential: Big, well-rounded forward and leader.

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Jenner’s first goal came against the Montreal Canadiens Carey Price on October 17, 2013, on the power-play. The scouting report has proven entirely accurate, since his debut. Currently, Jenner has 7 points in the last 7 games and is a bright spot in a struggling lineup.

Swiss Army Knife

During the off-season, Jenner was extended with a 4-year contract, with an AAV of $3.75 Million, and given the veteran’s presence on-ice, he has earned every penny.

We are 35 games into the season and he has beaten his 2020 points product, with 11 assists and 16 goals for 27 points. The Forward has been described as a “Swiss Army Knife” by Tortorella, for his ability to win multiple battles in the faceoff circle and being a major points producer, despite a career-low in the bubble season.

We are very pleased to have come to terms with Boone, who has been an integral part of our team for the past eight seasons, on this extension,” said GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “From the day he was drafted in 2011, Boone has been a consummate professional with his work ethic, character and leadership. He is an important part of our hockey club and ensuring he remains a Blue Jacket for years to come was a priority for us this summer.”

Jarmo Kekalainen

Double-Edged Sword

The Ontario-born fan favorite is definitely a producer, but I feel like in 2020 he was an offensive liability.

The season proved to be difficult for everyone, the painful loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t soften the blow of the fall off from the Blue Jackets.

Tortorella absolutely used him in a position he’s used to, but his highest points production came on the left-wing. You know if Torts trust you, you’re a 200-foot player and as one of his favorite grinders, I feel like Jenner is versatile and still capable of being a continual contributor to the success of the Blue Jackets.

I would argue, using him as a center will stunt the growth of available manpower in the AHL, where the ghost of Tortella’s failures rots in Cleveland.

Kevin Stenlund and Liam Foudy would easily facilitate Jenner’s resurgence he’s been experiencing this year as captain.

Outlook

The last time he came close to matching his best offensive production was during the 2018-19 season, with a total of 38 points. Given his new role as captain, he has a new reason to push the needle for the Blue Jackets but I definitely see him as a two-way player that Tortorella molded him into. Given the current team’s defensive issues, this is needed since a few of the other forwards don’t backcheck.

I see Jenner continuing to adapt to his new and permanent center position, with a projection of 31 points this season and the increase of his time to 20 minutes, will be beneficial to his line partners as someone capable of winning faceoffs.

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