The NHL announced their first 32 selections for the All-Star game (one player from each team), coming up next month in Toronto. The Blue Jackets will be represented by captain Boone Jenner. Color me surprised.
It's not that I don't think Boone should go. Quite the opposite, actually. Before suffering an unfortunate broken jaw, he was scoring at roughly a 40-goal pace. That's really good. He's worked hard, and he definitely deserves the opportunity to showcase himself.
It's just that Boone doesn't fit the prototype of what the league typically sends to the All-Star game. Usually, they seek out flashier playmakers like Johnny Gaudreau (he leads the team in scoring); or perhaps in a different season, elite shooter Patrik Laine.
If I were a betting man, I might have laid money down on Zach Werenski. Like Jenner, he's currently on the IR list. Unlike Jenner, he probably won't be back in time to participate in All-Star weekend. It's also worth noting that there were no defensemen named to the team from the Metropolitan Division. Just one made the team from the entire conference (Buffalo's Rasmus Dahlin).
But at the time of his injury, Werenski was leading the entire team in scoring - with 24 assists and 25 points in only 31 games played. He has definitely stood out from a team perspective this year, and if nothing else, should be acknowledged on some level. They could have chosen Werenski and then defaulted to Boone, if Zach were unable to make it.
In the end, the league opted for Jenner, who has 13 goals in 29 games. While I don't envision him taking part in any of the skills competition festivities, he'll be a great ambassador for the team. We all know how hard Boone works, and has worked throughout his entire career. It's exciting to see him get acknowledgement at one of the league's premier events.
All-Star weekend takes place in Toronto, the weekend of February 3rd.