2022-23 Player Review: Boone Jenner's strong season hampered by injuries

Can the Blue Jackets' captain improve the culture and raise the standards for the team?

The Columbus Blue Jackets' captain, Boone Jenner, was on track for a career year before injuries derailed his season. Jenner was forced to once again play the role of #1 center, a role he was ever meant to fill as an NHLer, but continues to do so admirably. Individual stats only mean so much in a season like this one. The fact that he is in that role says much more about the state of the team than it does Jenner himself.

One of my biggest concerns after this season is his role as captain. Boone has always been more of the strong, silent type. The kind of player who drags others into the fight simply by the way he plays the game. Nobody has ever questioned his work ethic, or his passion for the game, but not always does that translate into being a great captain and controlling the locker room.

A common theme in the post-mortem examination of the disasterous season that was 2022-23, is that the "culture" needs to improve. We have heard the standards were not high enough for sustained success, and that there were little things that were allowed to slide. If enough "little things" or "small details" are ignored they can become bigger issues to the health of the culture and standards in the room. With a team as young as it was this year – especially given all of the injury call-ups – a strong voice was probably needed from the leader of the team, and obviously I don't know, but I wonder if Jenner is that guy who will crack the whip on his teammates when needed. We know Larsen wasn't and he has paid the price. I don't think it is anywhere near as bad as the old "Country Club" days back in the Rick Nash captaincy, but it could definitely be better. Much of this falls on the shoulders of the captain.

Boone has a big job in front of him next season, especially with a new head coach coming on board.

2022-23 Stats

Games: 68
Goals: 26
Assists: 19
Points: 45
Plus/minus: -32
PIM: 51
5v5 CF%: 47.51%
5v5 FF%: 47.52%
oZS%: 48.74%

Contract Status

Jenner has three years left on the contract that he signed in the summer of 2021. The contract pays him $3.75M until the 2025-26 season, and interestingly is almost identical to the contract he received prior to this one, sans the modified NMC he earned on his newest deal.

High Point

In the month prior to the hand injury that took him out of the lineup for a month, Jenner was playing some of the best hockey of his career. Boone was a point-per-game player for the 17 games prior to his hand injury, from November until his last healthy game on December 11th. He had 9 goals to go along with 8 assists during that time playing as the team's #1 center.

His best game came on February 11th in his home province of Ontario against the Maple Leafs. Jenner was involved in the the first two goals for the Jackets, while putting NINE shots on net in a 4-3 victory, earning him the kepi after the game.

Low Point

This will be a pretty common theme among the players this year, but it would have to be his injuries. In December he suffered a fractured thumb that required surgery, sidelining him about a month. As expected with Boone, he attempted to play a few games with the broken thumb, but eventually had to shut it down as the pain was probably excruciating, especially considering he was still taking faceoffs.

In the last week of the season, Jenner was forced to shut it down early due to another back injury. More so than the fluke injuries caused by an errant puck, it's very concerning that back injuries continue to plague Jenner. He turns 30 this summer and pretty soon the number of times a back injury has shut Boone down will no longer be able to be counted on one hand. Back injuries are serious business, and rarely do they just get better. The pain may subside temporarily, but with many back injuries, it doesn't take much to re-aggrivate them. I love Boone, but would hate to see him become that grizzled old vet who can't bend over to tie his own skates.

I just can't shake the feeling that these injuries are really taking a toll on him, and could limit his career.

Report Card


His strong numbers that he put up when healthy still give Jenner a high grade overall. Not much more can be asked of a player like Boone on the scoresheets. However, as a captain, he may leave a bit to be desired in maintaining a strong culture and keeping the standards high.

How would you grade Boone Jenner's season?

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