The feisty forward wasn't able to duplicate his breakout 30-goal performance from 2015-16, but in large part that was due to the development of the players around him rather than a big regression in his own play. While not a natural scorer, the 24-year-old is strong on the puck and his max-effort style and high compete level in all three zones fit in very well on a team that has developed an identity as a relentless opponent. As the organization’s young snipers, such as Oliver Bjorkstrand and Sonny Milano, continue their development and push for top-six spots, Jenner could eventually find himself sliding down to the third line, where his grit and two-way play would be right at home.
Jenner was one of the few players to step up for the Blue Jackets in a lost season. The 23-year-old had his best year yet with 30 goals and 49 points, establishing himself as one of the team's building blocks for the future by playing an abrasive, two-way game that endeared him to coach John Tortorella. While he flipped between left wing and center during the year and his 53.1 percent faceoff win rate led the team, Tortorella preferred using him on the wing despite the team's lack of depth up the middle following the Ryan Johansen trade. Jenner will likely remain primarily on the wing in 2016-17, but given his excellent chemistry with Brandon Dubinsky, the duo should anchor the Jackets' top line, providing Jenner with plenty of opportunity to repeat or even top last year's numbers.
Jenner's sophomore campaign was a bit of a dud, as hand and back injuries knocked him out for huge chunks of time, limiting him to just 31 games. The good news is that he was skating top-line minutes before the back injury ate up three months of his season; the bad news is that he didn't enjoy that sort of ice time upon returning for the final 11 games of the year, and the Jackets signed Brandon Saad in the offseason to ride shotgun on the first line with Ryan Johansen. Still, Jenner should slot in as the second-line left wing, and see plenty of power-play time en route to a hike in offensive production. Fantasy owners in specialty formats will appreciate that Jenner complements that production with plenty of hits, too.
By just about any measure, Jenner's rookie season was a successful one. After a slow start, he scored 14 goals and 26 points over his final 55 games with a plus-12 rating, adding three goals and five points in the Blue Jackets' first-round playoff loss to the Penguins. Jenner's 212 hits on the season led all rookies, and he finished the year firmly entrenched among the Jackets' top-six forwards, seeing plenty of ice time alongside Ryan Johansen. A sophomore slump is always possible, and he doesn't have a huge offensive ceiling, but as his body and his game mature, Jenner figures to be yet another Columbus forward who plays hard in every zone and can contribute in a variety of fantasy categories.
Jenner ended his junior career with a bang, scoring 45 goals and 82 points in 56 games for Oshawa (OHL) before a late-season AHL stint in which he looked right at home. He's a coach's dream, playing a fierce two-way style and backing down from no one, and after a standout preseason he seems ready to settle into the Blue Jackets' lineup. Jenner's lack of elite offensive skills could limit him to a third-line role, but he's arguably the best faceoff man in the world outside of the NHL and that skill alone could land him plenty of man-advantage ice time once he establishes himself. He won't be a fantasy stud, but he will be a fan favorite.
Boone is a two-way center prospect that wrapped up his OHL career with 22 goals and 49 points in 43 games. He will now try to prove in the AHL that he can be more than just a checking line player in the pros after his tenure with Oshawa.
Jenner was a point-a-game player last season in the OHL, but it was his leadership, character and work ethic that made the Blue Jackets trade up to grab him in the draft when he slipped out of the first round. It's a good fit from an organizational perspective as he'll have no better role model for his style of play, and no better comp for his possible ceiling, than R.J. Umberger.