Columbus Blue Jackets 2023-24 player review: Adam Boqvist

Adam Boqvist came into this season with a lot of question marks. Though he had flashes of strong play, not many of those questions were answered in another injury-riddled year.
Columbus Blue Jackets v Ottawa Senators
Columbus Blue Jackets v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages

As the Blue Jackets continue to weed through their rebuild, one of the biggest things they need to sort out: which defensemen are going to be here long-term?

One of the most polarizing pieces of this team's defense corps is Adam Boqvist.

Though we have seen flashes of production from the player taken 8th overall at the 2018 NHL Draft, we're still left wondering if Adam fits into the puzzle here. Obviously, he has the talent.

But his three seasons in Columbus have seen him play in just 133 of 246 games. That is not the kind of health or consistency you want from a top-six defenseman - let alone a guy who has the capability to play in your top-four.

This has nothing to do with his skill or productivity. In fact, when healthy this season, it was Adam Boqvist who was placed on the top defense pairing alongside Zach Werenski. This was ahead of veteran stalwarts Damon Severson and Erik Gudbranson.

Surprisingly, the plan seemed to work. Boqvist and Werenski were capable together because they held onto the puck a lot. While both guys leave a little something to be desired on the defensive side of the puck; sometimes the best way to defend is to have the puck yourself.

Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, Boqvist just could not stay healthy. He hit the IR three times this season, including an early season stint on LTIR.

It's not that he has one injury that keeps popping up (say, a nagging back injury ala Boone Jenner) - he just has some of the worst luck I've ever seen. To the extreme that one of his stays on IR this year was due to a puck hitting him in the face while he was on the bench.

A lot of fans have pointed out to Adam that his #27 is cursed in the annals of CBJ history. They may be onto something, if Ryan Murray is any indicator. Both guys were highly touted young defensemen, who have had their share of bad injury luck.

Boqvist has mentioned changing his number before next season, so maybe that will help.

Hopefully it does, because this is a guy that I truly believe can be a 50-60 point defenseman in this league. That kind of productivity would solve a lot of issues for the Jackets, and help them crawl out of this rebuild sooner.

Boqvist 2023-24. D. Final season stats: 35gp, 1g, 9a, 10pts, -8, 0PiMs, 45SOG. . Adam Boqvist 2023-24 grade:

On top of the injuries, Adam saw a big drop in production this year, so he gets a failing grade. He has one more year on his contract with the Jackets, and it's crucial that he stays healthy and productive. His future here depends on it.