Jenner eyes roster spot on Blue Jackets
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner has his sights set squarely on earning a roster spot right out of training camp, which begins Wednesday Sept. 11 at the OhioHealth Ice Haus at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Until that time, however, he'll continue to impress Blue Jackets brass in attendance this week at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. Jenner, a 2011 second-round pick (No. 37), has worked exclusively at center during the tournament and has spent much time with wings Kerby Rychel (2013, No. 19) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (2013, No. 89).
Jenner leads the team in shots with nine through two tournament games and has two assists. But he's also doing plenty of the little things that made him such an attractive prospect two years ago in his draft year. The 6-foot-2, 204-pound left-handed shot had 45 goals and 82 points in 56 games in his final season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League before being assigned to Columbus' American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. In his five-game trial, he had three goals and four points.
"Obviously, the next step up in hockey from junior to pro is the speed; the plays on the ice are quicker," Jenner told NHL.com. "You're also playing against older, more experienced guys. The experience is great; it gave me an idea what the hockey would be like."
In eight playoff games with the Falcons last season, Jenner had two goals and five points. He acknowledged he'll play wherever the team needs him despite the fact he starred at center throughout his major-junior career in Oshawa, scoring 111 goals and 246 points in 227 games. He also gained experience on wing in Springfield.
If he did earn a roster spot with Columbus out of training camp, it likely would be at right wing because offseason acquisition Nathan Horton will be sidelined until mid-November at the earliest after undergoing left shoulder surgery July 17.
"I'm going to do everything I can to stay in Columbus," Jenner said. "I had a good summer and was on a good training program [with Blue Jackets strength coach Kevin Collins]. I'm going to go out and give it everything I have got and play my game and see what happens.
"I know I'm going to have to earn it since nothing is given."