Boone Jenner is a curious case among the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets this season. Despite being a bright light on an otherwise dim 2015-16 season, he hasn’t been able to produce goals like he did last year. Let’s take a look at the two years and see the comparisons.
Boone Jenner Experiencing Bad Luck, Not Bad Play
Jenner experienced the best year of his NHL career in the 2015-16 season. He was able to put up an impressive 30-goal season, which very few people saw coming. The fact of the matter is this: it is highly likely that 30 goals per season is not going to be the story of the rest of his career.
The stat that shows exactly why Jenner had a 30-goal season, it was his shooting percentage. The league average shooting percentage for the 2015-16 season was 8.98%, and Jenner had an impressive 13.3%, the highest of his short career.
This well above average shooting percentage is something that has become a norm throughout the career of Jenner, but not quite to the point of 2015-16. Over his 229 career games he has a career shooting percentage of 11.9%, meaning last year (13.3%) was closer to the norm than this one. This points to bad luck on his end.
Aside from the low shooting percentage the biggest point to show this is bad luck, rather than bad play, in the analytics is Jenner’s iSCF60 (individual scoring chances for per 60) that has dropped off only slightly from the 2015-16 season. Last year Jenner averaged a very solid 3.96 iSCF60 over 82 games.
The numbers for Jenner show that he is well on par in his play, and slightly better in some areas even, than his career year in 2015-16. The two main stats that have dropped off, aside from the obvious goals and assists (both of which only show bad luck), is his shooting percentage and his iSCF60, and the latter less significantly than the former.
Jenner has dropped from shooting 13.3%, the highest of his career, to a low-end 8.7%, which is the lowest of his career to date. On top of that, his iSCF60 has dropped from 3.96 to 3.11, not as significant as the shooting percentage. To put it into perspective, Jenner had more individual scoring chances than Brandon Saad had last year, with 73 to 71 respectively.
The Last Five Games
Jenner might just be in line for a second half of the season surge to bring his numbers back into his career averages. Since the game against the Carolina Hurricanes on January 10th, Jenner has three goals and two assists, which accounts for roughly a third of his seasons 16 total points. The storm cloud above his head might just be clearing up.
With his iSCF60 still well above average, Jenner isn’t a product of bad play, but rather a first half of the seasons worth of bad luck. With the last five games showing an apparent upturn in his confidence on the puck, and shooting more often, Jenner is in line for an upward trend.
While Jenner is highly unlikely to get to 30 goals again this season, or even match last years 49 points, look for him to start to produce points on a much higher frequency than the first 39 games, where he only put up 11 points.
Jenner is on pace to get a measly 30 points over the course of an 82-game season. This would be fantastic for a third liner, and even better for a fourth liner, but not what you come to expect from someone consistently in the top six of your forwards.
If Jenner continues to create chances at the rate he currently is the numbers suggest the point production will start to come in the second half of the season and Jenner should easily finish with 40-plus points on the season. If there’s one thing that can be said, Boone Jenner is experiencing a season of bad luck, and not bad play.