In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll discuss a few veterans that have rebounded from slow starts this season.
Heading into the season, Columbus' centers were a popular topic of conversation. Fantasy managers wanted to know who would get a shot between star wingers Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine on the top line, but there were so many intriguing options. If the team wanted a youngster to put up points and build confidence, maybe they gave the spot to Kent Johnson or Cole Sillinger. If they wanted to get more return on investment from their highest-paid center –who still seems to have some untapped offensive potential – then Jack Roslovic would get the gig. Although there were solid arguments for those guys, the frontrunner always seemed to be Boone Jenner, who performed well as the team's top center last season. There was some doubt about him reclaiming the role due to a back injury that ended his 2021-2022 campaign early, but based on the first quarter of this season, Jenner is still the go-to guy in Columbus.
Columbus' captain got off to a slow start this year, tallying four points in 10 appearances during the month of October. He's taken flight since then, posting eight goals and six assists for 14 points over his last 13 outings. We saw him take on an expanded role last season, playing over 20 minutes a night and holding a spot on Columbus' top power-play unit. With the extra opportunity, he was able to score at a career-high 60-point pace. He's scoring at a similar rate this year, again benefitting from a high volume of opportunity.
Being on the ice so much means more chances for Jenner to have an impact on the game, registering production in the categories we track in fantasy hockey leagues. Through the first quarter of this season, he's averaging over 12 faceoff wins per game, which ranks fourth in the NHL. Jenner isn't typically regarded as a high-volume shooter, but his 3.4 shots place him 34th among league skaters. Although he doesn't put up a huge number of hits and blocks, he averages a little more than one of each per game, so he won't sink you there. The fact that he does all of this while scoring at a