There were some murmurs of displeasure when Boone Jenner was named the captain of the Blue Jackets after Nick Foligno’s bombshell trade to the Maple Leafs, and absolutely zero of those murmurs came from me. His performance during his first season as captain and ninth season as an NHL player for the Blue Jackets speaks for itself. He was asked to rise to the challenge of captaincy, and he did so with grace and flying colors.
According to coach Brad Larsen via NHL.com, “Boone was the obvious choice. There’s no question about it. There’s a lot of layers when naming a captain and Boone checked all the boxes. He embodies who the Columbus Blue Jackets are.”
It’s worth noting that Boone Jenner was met with an immediate leadership challenge as soon as Foligno departed - the tragic loss of goalie Matiss Kivlenieks in an accident last July. The first home game night where Matiss was honored, Boone Jenner was on the ice with the Kivlenieks family, kneeling to hug Matiss’ younger sister during his rafter banner unfurling. In that moment, I knew he was the right choice as captain and was going to have a big season with the Blue Jackets.
Some of those nervous about Boone Jenner as captain were worried about his production. And you know what? They were right to be worried. Boone’s last few seasons were not his best, plagued by injuries and dwindling numbers of points. However, the C on his chest flipped a switch for Boone, and he was on a point-per-game pace for the first half of the season. Jenner has always had all the pieces of a great hockey player - the size, the grit, the in-game intelligence and wherewithal in front of the net - he just had to put them all together. Finally, this past season, it clicked.
5v5 CF%: 50.00
5v5 FF%: 49.40
The Blue Jackets signed Boone Jenner to a four-year, $15 million contract extension in July 2021, keeping him with the club through the 2025-26 season.
There were a lot of great moments to consider this season, but I clearly remember a game where he made himself very useful - it was just days after Calgary came to town and beat us 6-0 on January 26. Boone was clearly unhappy with those results, and he turned around and scored two goals and notched an assist in a crucial 5-3 win over the New York Rangers one day later at home. To me, that’s the heart of Boone Jenner as a player - he sees instances where his team needs him, and he steps up and performs. I think this comes with maturity and time in the league, but I also think it’s a result of his new-found confidence after becoming captain.
A big bummer for Boone this season was his season-ending back injury that struck in March - apparently it had been a long time coming, but he had been playing through it. At the time of his injury in mid-March, he was the team’s top goal scorer. I would have LOVED to see what numbers he could put up if he was healthy the whole season, but hopefully his time off towards the end of the season means he’ll be back at full strength this fall.
It’s an A from me!! I know he didn’t play the full season, but I can’t fault him for that. I have to imagine if he did, he wouldn't have faltered in his points he was putting up - I’ll give him an A for the whole season for the leadership he provided on and off the ice, as well.
How would you grade Boone Jenner’s season?
This poll is closed