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The Blue Jackets re-signed Boone Jenner for four more years, so he must be good, right?

Boone Jenner signed a four-year extension with the Blue Jackets recently. We look in-depth into what he provides.

Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

On July 5, Boone Jenner re-upped for four more seasons with the only organization he’s ever known, the Columbus Blue Jackets. We, at The Cannon, talked about the Blue Jackets’ RFA in late June heading into the busy signing period, and projected Jenner to reach a four-year extension at $15 million.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

2017-18 Season

Last season, Jenner (13 goals, 19 assists, 32 points) appeared in 75 games, and scored one goal with two assists in six playoff games against the Capitals.

His 19 regular-season assists tied a career-high back in 2015-16. As of right now, the 25-year-old center is joined alongside fellow centers Alex Broadhurst, Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, Lukas Sedlak, Pierre-Luc Dubois, who helped anchor the Columbus top line in his brilliance of a rookie season, and newcomer Riley Nash.

When Jenner broke out for a career-best 30 goals and 49 points in 2015-16, it may have appeared that he could be that kind of goal-scorer on a regular basis. But that might have been an outlier, as Jenner followed that campaign up with 18 goals in 2016-17, and then his 13 last season.

Physical Durability

Through five seasons in the NHL, dating back to 2013-14, Jenner has proven a reliable forward to suit up in Columbus, appearing in at least 75 games each of the last three seasons, and all 82 games in 2015-16 and 2016-17. He only appeared in 31 games during the 2014-15 campaign because of a stress fracture in his back that sidelined him for three months.

So for an additional four seasons at $15 million, what do you think of the Jenner signing?

Washington Capitals v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three

Still High Potential?

When The Cannon reviewed Jenner for his 2017-18 campaign in May, the consensus among the fanbase was a middling ‘C’ grade. Which makes sense as Jenner was not a particularly offensive threat for much of the season — like the team — but he heated up in March, coinciding with the clubs’ 10-game winning streak, when he registered 12 points (six goals, six assists). His six-game point-streak (five goals, three assists) from Mar. 8 through Mar. 19 was a career-best.

Digging a little deeper, once John Tortorella constructed the trio of Boone Jenner - Alexander Wennberg - Thomas Vanek, the line sizzled, putting up 17 goals in 17 games among all strengths.

Jenner - Wennberg - Vanek

Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Boone Jenner Alexander Wennberg Thomas Vanek 17 155:22 157 139 53.04 121 95 56.02 92 68 57.5 17 4 80.95 79 68 53.74 38 24 61.29 10 1 90.91 18.48 94.12 1.126 77 60 28 73.33
Natural Stat Trick

Now with Vanek off to the Red Wings, Jenner will have to see if he can recoup some of that offensive magic with his other mates.

One of the comparisons made by The Cannon to Jenner was that of Tanner Pearson, 25-years-old, who is also in the middle of a four-year, $15 million contract. Pearson scored 36 points a season ago for the Kings, set a career-high 44 points in 2016-17, and typically scores about 15 goals a season with right around 40 points per season. When I thought about the Jackets’ RFA last season and what could happen by the trade deadline, I thought about the style of player both Jenner and Matt Calvert are and what they can provide. I liked Calvert a lot, they both possess physical edge and some secondary scoring, and I probably would have thought he was the better of the two before looking a little more into the numbers.

Arguably the best player for Columbus throughout their six playoff games against Washington, Calvert (3—1-4) has since inked a three-year deal with the Avalanche worth $8.55 million over three seasons. While Jenner may not be the 30-goal scorer we may have hoped for, he has been prone to provide more scoring than Calvert and is three years younger.

From the center position, Jenner provides depth in a role that continuously seeks experienced upgrades in Columbus. Jenner’s 268 face-off wins last season was top-five for the team, while his 55.5 face-off win percentage was No. 1 among Jackets players who attempted at least 100 face-offs.

HockeyViz
HockeyViz
HockeyViz
HockeyViz

But if you were comparing Calvert and Jenner, there are the less-than-pleasing numbers. Jenner was -3.9 FF% rel, 49.3 FF% while Calvert was -5.0%, 48.6% among 5-on-5 play. Which sheds light on how often the Jackets and opposition controlled the puck with these guys on the ice.

Boone Jenner 5v5 Summary

Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
2017-2018 CBJ 75 1038.7 960 1078 47.11 742 762 49.34 535 539 49.81 44 40 52.38 473 501 48.56 208 202 50.73 28 19 59.57 8.22 92.58 1.008 316 338 436 42.02
Natural Stat Trick

When Jenner was on the ice during 5-on-5 play, the Jackets controlled 49% of total shot attempts. They outscored opponents 44-40. With Calvert on the ice, the Jackets were outscored 40-29 and the Jackets controlled 48.65% of the total shot attempts.

Jenner is obviously thought highly among the team and in the lockeroom as he wears the ‘A’, and regardless of the letter on the sweater, he is viewed upon as a valued member of the leadership group.

At the end of the day, Jenner is a bottom-six forward that provides depth down the middle for Columbus. When he gets hot, Jenner can provide a shot-in-the-arm offensively. If Tortorella can find the right line chemistry, maybe Jenner will find more of a happy balance between what he showed last March and some of that offensive potential during his 30-goal campaign.