The 2011 draft is a little more than a month away, and we all know that Gordie Clark, Glen Sather, and the collection of Rangers scouts are holding many meetings to discuss potential players on their draft boards. The Rangers have the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, and while most of the prospects on people’s lists will be gone (Nugent-Hopkins, Larsson, Courturier, etc), there are a good amount of prospects that would help the Rangers in the long run. Initially, we looked at Niklas Jensen, who I think would be a great fit for the Rangers. Today, we look at Jensen’s teammate Boone Jenner, the top line center for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
As a second year player in the OHL, Jenner had a great year. He put together a line of 25-41-66, a big increase over his rookie year stats (19-30-49). During this year’s playoffs, Jenner scored seven goals and added two assists in ten games before Oshawa was eliminated. At first, you might think that his numbers are inflated by playing with Christian Thomas, and there’s a potential that they might be, as they were line mates in Oshawa (I believe). However, despite playing with Thomas, Jenner hasn’t been overshadowed in the slightest. In fact, Jenner is often viewed as a complete package, possibly the most complete package in the draft this year.
Jenner has almost every tool required to be successful at the NHL level. He has great hands, a great shot, good vision on the ice, and a work ethic that would make Ryan Callahan blush. The 6’1 195 lb center is also a great leader on the ice for his teammates. What may be his greatest asset is that despite the skill, he isn’t a flashy guy, one that needs to dazzle you. He skates in a straight line, and just goes to the net with a blue-collar style of game.
What prevents Jenner from being a lottery pick is what has most scouts worried: his skating ability. Jenner is not the strongest of skaters, and it affects his mobility on the ice. The effort is there, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he will work to improve his skating as he develops, but it is really hindering his draft stock. Brock Otten at OHL Prospects has Jenner in his top-ten despite his skating deficiencies.
Another item that might be holding back his stock –albeit irrationally– is that Jenner seems to be the most complete player in the draft. Many scouts look at potential, and when you see a complete package, it’s tough to see potential. But believe me, the potential for Jenner to be a force in the NHL is there. Otten has said this might be due to his over-exposure in the scouting world, which is something I am inclined to believe because this was the easiest draft watch I’ve written since I started this little series two seasons ago. Despite the worries, Jenner will be taken in the first round. It is highly possible that he will be available for the Rangers at #15. Jenner, unlike most of the other first round picks for the Rangers, is not a project. One summer with Barb Underhill, and he could be a force.