2018-19 Player Review: Boone Jenner becomes a center of attention
Get it? Center? Ah, shut up
Remember when Boone Jenner broke out as a first line winger in his rookie season in 2013-14? Remember when he scored 30 goals as a second line winger in 2015-16? Feels like ancient history, right?
This year it seems like we finally got a sense of the player Boone Jenner actually is. He’s not actually a bruising winger who can score (that’s Josh Anderson’s mantle to carry at the moment). But what he may be is a solid bottom 6 center that the team can rely on for tough defensive minutes, but with enough scoring touch to be a threat. In addition, he is beloved and respected in the locker room and has worn the “A” since his age 22 season (after just 103 NHL games) and has continued in that role for four seasons now.
Where Boone truly showed his value this season was in the postseason. Along with Brandon Dubinsky and Riley Nash, he led a fourth line that was counted on to lock things down in the defensive zone. In 147:25 of 5v5 ice time in the playoffs, he started 85.8% of his offensive or defensive zone faceoffs in the defensive zone, yet only allowed 4 goals against while also being on ice for 4 goals for.
How should he be used next year? It seems like the team is comfortable with him playing center. His faceoff win percentage in the regular season was a strong 54.1%. He had a career high 22 assists. The “grit line” with Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson was effective, but the line with Oliver BJORKSTRAND and Alexander Wennberg in March was surprisingly effective.
Boone Jenner 2018-19 Stats
Games played: 77
Time on ice (per game): 17:04
Penalty minutes: 42
Corsi For (even strength): 48.2
Games played: 10
Time on ice (per game): 17:14
Penalty minutes: 2
Corsi For (even strength): 43.8
Two fun stats:
- Jenner scored a goal in 12 regular season games and 1 playoff game. Each one was a Blue Jackets win.
- He led all Columbus skaters with 27 shots on goal in the Boston series. Unfortunately only one found the back of the net (see below)./
Last summer, Jenner signed a four year extension worth a total of $15 million. His annual cap hit is $3.75 million. In our coverage of the contract last summer, the length and term matched our expectations. I’m going to tell on myself and say I was wrong about one thing: I questioned his durability and lack of production. He’s played at least 72 games in five of his six seasons. He won’t ever match his 30 goal season again, but the last three have featured an average of 35 points per season. For a bottom 6 player, that’s fine!
I’m going to cheat here and pick two games, but against the same opponent. First up, he got his first career hat trick in the initial regular season game against the Bruins:
In Game 3 of the Boston series, Jenner opened the scoring with a nifty goal:
He had a season high 14 game goalless streak from early December to early January. Yet he never went more than four games without a point (he had three such streaks).
How would you grade Boone Jenner’s 2018-19 season?