Any time the words "Team Canada" and "World Juniors" are in the mix, it's obviously an important period of time in junior hockey.
Such has been the case since Monday night, when the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Subway Super Series began at the Centre d'Excellence Sports Rousseau in Boisbriand, Quebec.
The Super Series is one of Hockey Canada's key evaluation periods for its national junior team selection, and the brass gets to see how its youngsters from three different leagues match up against those from Russia.
The series is comprised of six games in total, meaning each Canadian junior league's top players face the Russians twice. Teams represented by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Western Hockey League (WHL) get two chances to impress scouts in six locations across Canada.
And when the OHL gets its turn on center stage tonight, Boone Jenner will serve as captain for his side in Guelph, Ont. at the Sleeman Centre. He's had a terrific start to his season with the Oshawa Generals (where he also serves as club captain), tallying 15 goals and 15 assists in 19 games for the Generals -- which currently slots him as the OHL's second-leading scorer.
With an 11-6-2 record to this point, the Generals are four points ahead of the Belleville Bulls for the top spot in the East Division.
Jenner's leadership on the ice is what has separated him from the pack; he's taken his game to a different level this year as a potential jump to the pro ranks looms next season. Always a reliable, sturdy two-way center, Jenner has proven in 2012-13 he's got a little bit of finish in his repertoire, as well.
Blue Jackets fans will get to see him in action again tonight, as the NHL Network will broadcast the Super Series game beginning at 7 p.m. ET. But that's not all.
Jenner and the Generals are in Erie, Pa. on Saturday night to take on the Erie Otters (and a certain goaltending prospect who we hear has the fans Dansking with joy). It figures to be a pretty exciting game, as both teams are loaded with skill and can play an uptempo brand of hockey.
The Otters have both Dansk and 15-year-old phenom Connor McDavid in the arsenal, giving them two core future pieces at pivotal positions (in goal and at center ice).
More exciting news: the BlueJackets.com team will be in attendance at Erie Insurance Arena to cover Saturday's game. We'll bring you all the stories from both clubs, spotlight some of the bright stars of tomorrow, and bring you up-to-date on what's been going on with Captain Boone.
Keep an eye on all of our social channels this weekend, because there's a chance we'll be giving away some prizes throughout our stay.
That means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TOUT, Pinterest, YouTube...you'll want to be connected, because our goal is to keep you plugged in.