What an...unpredictable career it's been thus far for Boone Jenner.
He was a second-round pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011.
He then had one of the better rookie seasons to date for the club.
He then missed almost an entire season to injury.
He then became a 30-goal scorer.
He then declined statistically for a couple of seasons, even went on the trade block, and is now on his way back to...
...well, that is to be determined.
Jenner's style of play resembles a bull in a china cabinet. It's not the prettiest thing to watch when he's on the ice, but the gritty forward brings his all in what seems like every single night for his club.
Playing alongside former Blue Jacket Ryan Johansen in his early career certainly was a bright spot statistically for Jenner, and it's easy to look as if his numbers dropping means that his value to the team has diminished as well.
But now, in his sixth NHL season and an assistant captain for the Blue Jackets, he is truly doing it all for the club - penalty killing, jumping on the power play, blocking shots, scoring goals while falling, etc.
And his coach who has struggled with finding center depth for his team has certainly taken notice. Jenner has been a utility player for the team, switching forward positions whenever needed, and most recently, back to center:
"I think his (Jenner's) game has been probably the most consistent I've seen since I coached him, at that position (center)." said head coach John Tortorella ahead of Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals.
"He's such an important guy, and I wasn't sure if it was gonna work there (putting him at center), but he's been a huge part to the middle of the ice that we're really trying to find an identity with."
When asked what it was like having Jenner be sidelined for three games after the all-star break (all loses for the Blue Jackets), Tortorella didn't beat around the bush. He knows how valuable Jenner is.
"It puts a hole. Our center ice is still a work in progress of trying to find some consistency through it...when you lose a guy like that, and the way he plays in the middle of the ice, yeah that's a big hole...he's been really good for us."
Jenner is on his way to his second-best season (statistically) of his career. His 26 points through 51 games is on pace for a 40-point season, which would be his most since the 2015-2016 season.
Along with being in the top-seven on the Blue Jackets in scoring, Jenner is also fifth in blocked shots, third in hits, first in face-offs won, by a lot.
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