Adam Boqvist Within Striking Distance of Blue Jackets Record

The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Adam Boqvist as the centerpiece of their package from Chicago for defenseman Seth Jones in the offseason. The 21-year-old former first-round draft pick had already made an impact at the NHL level despite never playing a full season. The Blue Jackets were ready to give him that opportunity, and he’s run with it to this point in the season.

Boqvist’s Season So Far

At the time of writing, Boqvist has played 35 games. In those games, he has scored nine goals and put a total of 17 points on the board. Both of those numbers are career highs for the Swedish defenseman, and he still has quite a bit of time to add to them. The most impressive statistic is undoubtedly his nine goals, as previously his career-high was four in 2019-20, which was his rookie season.

Adam Boqvist Columbus Blue Jackets
Adam Boqvist, Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images)

Boqvist hasn’t been consistent, as prior to the NHL All-Star break, he had a considerable pointless streak, but that will likely come with time. He does have a valid excuse regarding his lack of consistency as well. His season has been somewhat plagued by health issues as he has missed time due to injury twice and once with COVID-19. (from ‘Blue Jackets’ Adam Boqvist challenged by injuries, COVID-19 infection’ Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 26, 2022).

Since the break, he has been playing very well offensively and makes an impact whether it is reflected on the scoresheet or not. The issues with his play come from his lack of defensive play, however, this isn’t rare for offensively minded defensemen early in their careers. Eventually, the defensive ability will improve as the player gets more experience. The Blue Jackets went through a similar phase with Zach Werenski not too long ago.

Potentially Breaking a Record?

The aforementioned Werenski has broken a single Blue Jackets franchise record twice since joining the team. Before the 2017-18 season, the franchise record for most goals by a defenseman belonged to Bryan Berard, who scored 12 in 2005-06. In Werenski’s sophomore season, he and defensive partner Seth Jones would break that record and hold it jointly as both scored 16 goals. A couple of seasons later, Werenski would decide he was tired of sharing and score 20 to take it for himself.

Boqvist is definitely within striking distance of this number, as the Jackets currently have 34 games remaining. If he were to match his previous pace, he’d finish with roughly 18 goals on the year. As a result, he’ll have to step up his play a bit to reach that milestone, but it’s certainly possible. To have any chance at aiming for a historic season, he’ll have to stay healthy for all of the remaining games.

If Boqvist were able to break the record though, it would bring an interesting dynamic to the locker room. Werenski’s offensive numbers have come down since his defensive responsibilities increased. If the team can improve defensively as a whole, it could open up his ability to play with the previously seen offensive prowess and provide some healthy competition between the two.

It won’t be easy for Boqvist to move Werenski out of the Blue Jackets record books, and as things sit currently, it seems unlikely to happen during the 2021-22 season. Unlikely doesn’t mean impossible, though, and there’s plenty of time for it to happen if Boqvist goes on a massive hot streak. Regardless of if he’s able to turn a great season into a record-breaking one, he’s still been very impressive in his debut season in Columbus. He has a bright future ahead of him and, with what he has shown so far, a very high ceiling in the NHL.

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