Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season on a player-by-player basis. Today, BlueJackets.com continues the series by looking at Boone Jenner's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2018-19 campaign.
Birth date: June 15, 1993
Height/Weight: 6-2, 206
Stats (Games, G-A-P, point shares): 77 GP, 16-22-38, 3.6 PS
Contract: Signed through 2021-22
In some ways, it feels as though Boone Jenner has been with the Blue Jackets from the beginning. Heck, they might have built the arena around him.
His old-school game has been one of the most consistent parts of the Columbus franchise over the past few years, and it seems like he's been a Blue Jacket forever.
Yet Jenner just turned 26 years old. Even though he's been with the Jackets for the past six years -- and should enter the franchise's all-time top 10 in games played by the middle of next season -- he's still got plenty of good years ahead of him.
And considering he's already an alternate captain and thought of as one of the key leaders on the squad, not to mention a dependable, hard-nosed player who can be used in all situations, the former second-round pick from the Oshawa Generals figures to be a key part of this franchise going forward as well.
Entering the season: Jenner was expected to provide exactly what Jenner has come to represent on the team -- good leadership, excellent work at the faceoff dot, and the occasional scoring punch. Coming off a 13-goal, 32-point performance in 2017-18, there was hope he'd add a little more scoring to the equation, but by and large he'd be counted on to perform as he had in previous campaigns.
What happened: Jenner ended up going from part-time center to full-time pivot, a move exacerbated by the team's lack of depth down the middle as well as his ability to win draws. Throughout the year, head coach John Tortorella also pointed out that it brought the best out of Jenner as well, as his job patrolling the middle of the ice from crease to crease kept his feet moving all the way across the ice.
For the second year in a row, he was particular impressive at the faceoff dot. Jenner won 54.1 percent of his draws this past season and over the past two years is now 894-1,640 (54.5 percent).
"He's turned into a really good center," Tortorella said during the season. "We've really tried to stay consistent with him all year long, playing him in the middle. He's a big part of our team as far as penalty killing, faceoffs; he's involved in a lot of offensive things."
Jenner also boosted his scoring from the year before, as his 38 points were the most since he had 49 during his 30-goal season in 2015-16. He spent time on the power play but was particularly useful on the PK, and his line with fellow heavy players Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson was one the team could always turn to when it needed to establish an identity during the season.
He also topped 100 goals for his career late in the season, now sitting at 102 tallies for the CBJ, and with 199 points, his next will be his 200th in the sweater.
There was no bigger game for Jenner than his hat trick in the team's 7-4 victory March 12 vs. Boston in Nationwide Arena. Jenner first tallied with just six seconds left in the first with a shorthanded goal as he buried Anderson's rebound to make it 3-1, then he made it a 5-1 game by scoring in front in the second. Finally, his empty-net goal in the final minute set the final score and sent hats flying to the Nationwide Arena ice.
Video: BOS@CBJ: Jenner sparks Blue Jackets with first hatty
By the Numbers
30: Jenner won at least 60 percent of his faceoffs in 30 of his 77 games in the regular season. He finished at 50 percent or better in 50 games.
17:04: Jenner played 17:04 per game, the highest total since he skated 18:16 per night in 31 games in 2014-15.
79: Jenner has averaged 79 games per season over the past two years, making him one of the most dependable Blue Jackets on the roster.