COLUMBUS -– The wait is almost over for Blue Jackets fans who want to see the NHL debuts of forward Boone Jenner and defenseman Ryan Murray.
Each will be in the lineup Friday night when Columbus opens the season against the Calgary Flames. Expectations are high for the two rookies as well as the team, which last April lost out on the final Western Conference playoff spot to the Minnesota Wild on a tiebreaker.
A second-round pick (No. 37) in the 2011 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old Jenner was a fan favorite at his first two training camps thanks to his robust play. But he was sent back to Oshawa of the Ontario Hockey League each time.
"I worked really hard in this past offseason," he said. "I thought I could make the jump."
Not only did he make the team but he is on the top line with Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik.
Murray, the second pick in 2012, had to endure season-ending surgery after a shoulder injury in November while playing in the Western Hockey League.
Tonight, he will be paired with veteran James Wisniewski.