Boone Jenner's having himself a year.
And while much of it has gone under the radar – the Blue Jackets have added a few marquee players in 2018-19, if you hadn't heard – the proof really shows itself when he's not in the lineup.
Because of Alexander Wennberg's struggles and an already-thin center ice depth chart, John Tortorella asked Jenner to play the middle this season. And while many expected him to be serviceable and that's about it, Jenner has been one of the most important pieces to the Blue Jackets' rejuvenated playoff push.
On Tuesday night vs. Boston (video above), Jenner cashed in a feed from former Bruin Riley Nash to make it a 5-1 Blue Jackets lead, which was the 100th goal of his NHL career.
That's not too bad for a guy that many had pegged as a bottom-six player entering the season. Jenner centering a line with Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson has been the Blue Jackets' most consistent and relied-upon line, and more so recently as the top line of Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin has hit a dry spell.
Jenner scored two more goals last night and capped off the first hat trick of his career late in regulation, sending a long-distance shot into an empty Boston net for a 7-4 final. It was his third multi-goal game and ninth multi-point effort of the season, and prior to completing the hat trick, Jenner had eight two-goal games on his record.
As the Blue Jackets hit the stretch run and try to get into the playoffs for a third consecutive season, it's hard to imagine where they'd be without Jenner, who has turned himself into a valuable and productive utility forward under Tortorella.
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