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'Special milestone': Boone Jenner on his rise from Dorchester, Ont. to NHL franchise games played leader

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It’s now 685 NHL games and counting.

Boone Jenner of Mossley, Ont. outside London is the new Columbus Blue Jackets all-time franchise leader in games played.

“I’ve been playing 11 years with the organization, and a lot of good memories go through your mind when you hit a milestone like that,’ said Jenner, 30, captain of the Blue Jackets.

“It makes you look back into the teammates, the trainers, the staff, coaches, and then especially, you know, my family and the support system.”

That support system includes his parents Terri and Matt Jenner along with his two brothers.

To commemorate his historic record-breaking evening in late November, the team created a pair of Jenner bobble heads which were given away that night.

“I remember having them growing up so it's pretty funny,” says Jenner. “It’s funny to have your own and they did a good job on it making me look pretty good.”

Leo Jenner (left) played OHL hockey against his younger brother Boone Jenner. (Source: OHL)His earliest hockey memories include skating on the pond at their family farm near Dorchester, just south of Highway 401.

He played minor hockey in Dorchester before moving onto the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs, and eventually was drafted fourth overall by Oshawa in the OHL.

The Blue Jackets would take him 37th overall in the NHL draft in 2011.

“I remember going to the draft and saying to his brother ‘Can you believe your brother [Boone] is going to be drafted into the NHL?’ said Terri Jenner, Boone’s mom. “He said ‘Yes I can, because he’s worked so hard for it.’”

Every step of his journey, he wore the ‘C’ on his jersey as team captain and his father Matt coached him in minor hockey.

“I remember having votes to see who is going to be captain, and then everybody voted for him,” said Matt.

“When I was coaching him that was very hard for me to make him Captain what can you do at that point?”

Terri Jenner and Matt Jenner are the parents of Columbus Blue Jackets' captain Boone Jenner (Source: Brent Lale/CTV News London)His father credits Boone’s consistency on the ice, but also calls him a “leader off the ice” due to the way he treats all his teammates.

He’s always been a tough, physical player, and that may come from his battles at home with his older brothers. One of those is Leo Jenner, a bruiser who stands 6’5 tall” and played in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers before moving onto Canadian University hockey.

“Looking back it definitely made me better because they're pretty big boys,” said Boone.

“They are older than me, so I had to keep up. We had a lot of fun whether playing pond hockey, hockey in the barn or in the shed and all three of us grew a big love of the game.”

Matt says Boone’s older brothers played hard with him at home, and they never took any mercy on him.

“Him playing with his brothers, then playing with kids his own age, it shone through,” said Matt.

Terri recalled a project Boone did in grade six, where he knew he would eventually become an NHL player, and a Stanley Cup champion.

Boone Jenner’s earliest hockey memory is skating on a pond at his family’s farm in Mossley, Ont. about 20 km southeast of London (Source: Terri Jenner)“He wrote out all his future goals and most of them he's met. The Stanley Cup was probably the only one left,” she said.

That cup has eluded Boone during his tenure in the NHL. The most success Columbus has had is 10 playoff games.

He said winning hockey’s Holy Grail is what “fuels him every day to come to work, and get better” whether that is in season, or summer workouts.

While many great players never get a chance to win their last game of the season, Jenner will savour every moment he has in professional hockey.

“I’m very fortunate I can still strive for all the things I have always dreamt of,” Boone told CTV News. “To be living out the dream, my dream is as a young boy, to play in the NHL, for to become a reality is pretty special in some, you know, I never take for granted.” 

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