Heading into this season, the Blue Jackets defense looked vastly different than fans were used to. Ryan Murray, David Savard, Markus Nutivaara, and most importantly, Seth Jones, had all left the roster in the past two years. The future of the defense would be put on Zach Werenski, Vladislav Gavrikov, and the newest acquisition, Adam Boqvist. So, how’d he do?
Well, it was a struggle to start. After going pointless in his first five games, he missed seven games with a lower body injury. Then, he scored his first goal on his return on November 15, before going 5-3-8 in through December 9. Why December 9? He got injured again, this time upper body, skipping the Covid pause and coming back with the team on December 30. He earned five points in his next five games, before going on a dry spell through the All Star break, including a personal Covid diagnosis that wiped out another four games.
Coming out of the break, Boqvist was serviceable, putting up another five points in 10 games, before getting injured for a fourth time, with another upper body injury. He missed the most games yet, wiping out 11 games and most of March. He returned on the 25th, played another 12 games and posting two assists, before bowing out on after the California trip, missing the final five games with his fifth injury/illness of the season.
With 11-11-22 in 56 games, a 16-goal, 32-point pace, Adam Boqvist’s timeline may look familiar to long-term CBJ fans. The fact he shares the same number doesn’t hurt. Ryan Murray, despite frequent prowess as a set-up player, was also riddled with injury throughout his tenure as Columbus’s 27. Murray missed 215 games over 7 seasons, an average of 30 games/season and 38% of the possible games. A worrying trend, and hopefully just a strange, single-season coincidence.
Games Played: 56
5v5 CF%: 48.1%
5v5 FF%: 46.7%
Adam Boqvist is currently an unsigned RFA, looking to get a bump from his prior 3-year, $900K contract. He has four more years as an RFA, so any contract longer than that gets him to his UFA years.
Boqvist’s 5-3-8 statline between his November and December injuries becomes all the more impressive when seven of those eight points came within seven games, including two two-goal performances. He factored into all three CBJ goals in a 3-6 loss at St. Louis on November 27, and then opened the scoring and netted the game winner versus the Sharks on December 5th.
I’d also be remiss to leave off his end-to-end goal against the Maple Leafs on February 22nd. While he may have missed a lot of time, he was electric when he was on his game.
All the injuries. It’s tough to play well when you’re consistently missed five to 10 games, and because this is hockey, he was probably playing through a lot towards the end of the season. His production waned as a result, earning just seven points after the All Star break.
It’s hard to remove the injuries from the performance, but there is one convenience in his time missed; both Adam Boqvist this year and the Blue Jackets last year played 56 games. He would’ve been 6th on the team in points, and 5th in goals. That being said, he was incredibly streaky - outside of that seven-game streak, he was 7-8-15 in 49 games. I could see arguments for a higher or lower grade, but I’m going to go with a B. For Boqvist.
How would you grade Adam Boqvist’s first CBJ season?
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