When trying to make your way into any professional league the same basic principles are always in play: hard work, determination and skill. Boone Jenner is a shining example of each of those principles. It can’t be stated enough, how impressive it was to see Jenner earn his way into the starting lineup last year during training camp. Nothing was given to him and he decided to take the opportunity and run with it, something many prospects this year are hoping to do as well. While revered by prospects for his fortitude, Jenner has also firmly planted himself into the fans’ hearts, easily becoming a fan favorite.
Jenner, while playing a rough and tumble style of hockey, has won many over. The skill behind the player is something to behold as well. Rookie campaigns can be filled with randomness and unsustainable play time and time again, so while doing research on Jenner I was sincerely hoping that I wasn’t going to find rookie play that didn’t lend itself to long term sustainability. What I did find was the complete opposite. Boone Jenner, other than a few outliers, should find continued success this upcoming year, especially if given more ice time. While delving into his shooting percentages it was interesting to see that he had a 5v5 shooting percentage similar to that of Derek Mackenzie, hovering around 7.3%. While not out of this world by any stretch of the imagination it is quite encouraging to note that if given more responsibility at 5v5 he won’t be lost in the mix. His work on the power play though makes for a much more interesting case study. He shot 25% while on the PP this past year, good for second on the team for players who have played more than 70 games. While it does cause one to pause while looking at the numbers it should be noted he did take all these attempts very close to net at 15.2 feet. While the long term variability of shot distance can sometimes muddy the shooting percentage waters, it shows that Jenner knows his role and is able to stick to it being easily the closest to net of all Blue Jackets players on the power play.
The blogosphere, which seems to be shrinking by the minute has used its resources time and time again to find different trends and patterns within the NHL and one of the most exciting is WOWY’s. Being able to utilize how one player does with or without a player can help decide who is driving play and who is merely just a passenger. Luckily, our good friends at The Union Blue took a look at the 2013-14 season’s WOWY and it helped instantly clarify who was doing what this past season especially in the case of our article’s subject. In a past article I pointed out that Johansen and Jenner were not a good match for one another stating that while both seemed to have developed some sort of “chemistry” they didn’t drive play very well together. The player that intrigues me the most with Jenner is Artem Anisimov, a player who in his own right is quite valuable. With one another they get a 5.8% bump in possession, a number that shouldn’t be scoffed at regardless of usage.
While grit and hard work can’t be quantified in any traditional method it is important to note that at times you can get a glimpse behind that curtain and get a sliver of quantifiable evidence showing effort. That tiny sliver is penalties drawn. Jenner time and time again last season seemed to draw penalty after penalty. He drew 1.8 penalties /60 which is easily best on the team of players playing over 70 games the next closest being Brandon Dubinsky at 1.3. Being in the right place at the right time is a mix of preparation and hard work something Jenner showed in spades.
Will the dreaded sophomore slump happen to Boone Jenner? It isn’t a question that has been raised by the front office and fans but is a legitimate question all the same. In short, no, there shouldn’t be any worry, his numbers seem to be something that are sustainable and can even be improved upon. The Dorchester, Ontario native has already made an indelible mark on the town. For all the high praise he has received this past season, his career has only just begun, a welcoming thought to all fans of the union blue.