Training Camp Notebook (Sept. 22): Top-Line Chemistry, Defensemen Getting Stronger, and Some Observations

By Coby Maeir on September 22, 2022 at 6:01 pm
Adam Boqvist
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Today was the first day of on-ice work at Blue Jackets training camp.


  • Johnny Gaudreau-Boone Jenner-Patrik Laine was one of the lines during drills today. Brad Larsen said Jenner would be the first center to get the chance to play between the two star wingers. 
  • Andrew Peeke on 2022 first-round pick Denton Mateychuk: "He seems like a smooth-skating defenseman. [He] moves the puck well."

Top-Line Chemistry

Today was the first time Gaudreau, Jenner, and Laine played together at training camp and Boone Jenner said it's good to be in a faster-paced environment than a summer skate.

"It's ramped up a bit," Jenner said, describing training camp. "We're trying to snap [the puck] around and make some plays and play quick."

Jenner also spoke about the chemistry between the three players and how it needs to be developed over time. 

"It's something you gotta work with," Jenner said. "Gotta talk, get reps in, practice at, play at that way of just communicating [and] being on the same page. 

Gaudreau said that while most of the practice was just hard skating, it was nice to get on the ice with Laine and Jenner.

"It was nice to get out there with them and do a couple of return-twos and up and down the ice," Gaudreau said. "But [as] this camp goes along it'll be a little bit more getting to know each other and trying to make plays."

Laine, like Gaudreau, said that today was more about skating and conditioning than it was about making plays, although he said it was good to get on the ice with Gaudreau.

"I think this point [of camp] is just trying to get the legs and lungs going," Laine said. "I think the more we go towards the start of the season we'll start worrying about the other stuff."

Defensemen Adding Strength

Peeke said he put on 10-12 pounds of "good weight" this summer and gaining weight was one of his top priorities over the off-season. 

"It was a good summer," Peeke said. "[Gaining weight] was something I really wanted to accomplish. The style of play that I bring to the table, just being physical and then adding that extra strength I think will only benefit me. I put that at the top of the list of things I wanted to accomplish."

Adam Boqvist also said he's gotten stronger this off-season, but by losing 12-15 pounds of what he called "baby fat" to get leaner. He lost the weight to try and be faster and tougher to skate by.

"If good players get time, it's not what you want as a [defenseman]," Boqvist said. "[You want] to get a stop in play, not let [the opponent] just run around. And I think that's what I was working [on] losing some weight so I can get faster and lean out."

The Jackets will be back on the ice Friday and Saturday before playing a split/squad doubleheader against Pittsburgh on Sunday.