With Nick Foligno gone in free agency, the Columbus Blue Jackets needed a new captain. That decision has been made, and Boone Jenner will wear the “C” this season as the seventh captain in franchise history. He’ll be joined by Zach Werenski, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Gustav Nyquist, who will each serve as alternates. New head coach Brad Larsen explained why Jenner was the choice:
We had a lot of discussions as a coaching staff and with management and, while we were in no rush to make a decision regarding the next captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, it became obvious to all of us that Boone was the right choice. He has tremendous character and a work ethic that has earned the respect of his teammates and he’s been an important part of our leadership group for several years. Zach, Gus and Oliver also have been part of that group and we are fortunate to have these guys lead our team.
Jenner, 28, has spent his entire career with the Blue Jackets to this point, suiting up 530 times in the regular season for the club. He reached a career-high of 30 goals in 2015-16 but has never really come close to matching that total, settling into more of a two-way role behind some of the team’s more offensive players. He had eight goals and 17 points in 41 games last season, but with some of the changes the team has made in recent months, could find himself more involved at that end of the rink this season.
At the very least, he will serve as a strong leader among a group that is going through a big transition. Foligno, Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson, huge parts of the franchise’s identity, are all playing for other teams this season. Werenski is now the face of the franchise, but he’ll be supported by Jenner now who takes on the responsibility of captain with an extension in pocket. The veteran forward is signed through 2025-26, meaning there doesn’t have to be any changes for several years.
The Blue Jackets, though considered something of a rebuilding group after trading away Jones, still have quite a few talented skaters on the roster and could surprise people this season. If it goes south, however, it’ll be up to Jenner and his alternates to keep the ship on course.