The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to see key players head to the shelf, this time announcing surgery for Boone Jenner. The veteran forward will undergo a procedure tomorrow to repair a fractured thumb and is out for approximately four weeks.
Jenner has been moved to injured reserve and in his place, the Blue Jackets have recalled Joshua Dunne from the minor leagues.
It’s another brutal injury for a Blue Jackets team that can’t seem to escape them this season, as Jenner will join Jakub Voracek, Jake Bean, Joonas Korpisalo, Justin Danforth, Nick Blankenburg, Adam Boqvist, and Zach Werenski on injured reserve. The 29-year-old captain was the club’s second-highest scorer on the year, playing mostly alongside prized free agent signing Johnny Gaudreau on the top line. With 22 points in 30 games he was on pace to set a new career-high, but will now have his season disrupted by a month-long absence.
While it is another frustrating injury for Columbus fans to deal with, there is at least one thing to get excited about. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that young prospect Kent Johnson is expected to center Gaudreau and Patrik Laine while Jenner is out. That will, at the very least, provide some highlight-reel moments even if expecting Johnson to step into a first-line center role is a little too much at this point in his career. The 20-year-old has 14 points in 27 games but at times looks slightly outmatched physically at the NHL level.
Dunne, meanwhile, will get another opportunity in the NHL after spending all of last season in the minor leagues. The undrafted forward played six games for the Blue Jackets in 2020-21, and is still looking for his first NHL point. Through 24 games with the Cleveland Monsters, the 6’4″ Dunne has 11 points this season.