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Horton: Columbus linemates Jenner, Johansen are ‘going to be superstars’

Feb 5, 2014, 7:44 PM EDT

NathanHorton Getty Images

Nathan Horton is the cagey vet on one of the hottest units in hockey, and thinks there are bright days ahead for his young linemates.

“These two guys [Boone Jenner and Ryan Johansen] are going to be superstars,” Horton said, per the Blue Jackets’ Rob Mixer. “It’s awesome to play with them.”

After missing the first half of the season recovering from shoulder surgery, Horton debuted for Columbus on Jan. 2 and has been solid, scoring four goals and 10 points in 16 games. But the 28-year-old found a spark after getting onto the Jenner-Johansen line — since the move the trio has really been clicking, going for six points in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Florida and three more in Monday’s big 4-2 win in Anaheim.

Johansen, 21, is having a breakthrough campaign. The fourth overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft has already posted career-highs in goals (23), assists (20) and points (43) through 56 games, the 23 tallies tying him with the likes of John Tavares and Marian Hossa on the NHL leaderboard.

“I like playing with him,” Horton told Fox Sports Ohio. “He’s got great vision. He does everything. We’ve seen it (recently) with the goals he’s scored. This guy has it. He’s got all the tools.”

Jenner, 20, has also turned in on in recent weeks. After a tough start in which he scored just five points in his first 25 games and was made a healthy scratch, Jenner now has eight in his last 13 and has emerged as one of the club’s most physical players, sitting fourth among all CBJ forwards with 135 hits.

“I’m not sure what he’s going to be like when he’s 26 or 27 years old, when he hits his prime,” head coach Todd Richards said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “But I don’t know if there are too many guys who are going to want to play against him when he’s that old. You watch him play as a young kid against these guys now, and they struggle to play against him.

“He’s so strong. He’s tenacious. Those are great qualities to have.”

The Jackets head into tonight’s action sitting third in the Metropolitan Division, just three points back of the second-place Rangers. Should the Horton-Johansen-Jenner trio continue to play as well as it has, Columbus could be primed to make the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history.

  1. lowenni - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    He’s right. Love watching some of the young kids on Columbus: Atkinson, Johansen, Jenner. They all have great skill–but more importantly, they’re growing up in an organization and environment that stresses effort and tenacity. Johansen really just looks like a stud and is really breaking out, while Jenner is gonna be tough as nails to play against and will be able to score too. The Jackets team is gonna be real good in years to come. They’re my kind of team, always hard-working!

  2. storminator16 - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    I watched the Jackets game versus the Ducks & Canes the past week. I can not disagree with Horton on Johansen especially. to watch a young player come into their own. frame he is going to be downright dominate on most nights. Jenner is a gritty, hard working winger with a fair bit of upside. More blue chippers on the way, too.

    • storminator16 - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Hate when I don’t check my edit. Just omit the “to watch a young player come into their own” bit as I evidently partially deleted a sentence I removed.

  3. bct11554 - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Alright if the Jackets we will trade him to you guys for Atkinson and Jenner

  4. bct11554 - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    If the Jackets want Callahan we will take Atkinson and Jenner. How bout that????

    • lowenni - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      Jenner may be the second coming of Callahan. But no.

  5. canada2014gold - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    I think Columbus should stay away from that deal. Callahan is a greedy athlete that’s going for the last dollar, plus he’s injury prone. I can’t say I blame the guy but he’s just not worth that much. I’d take Jenner over Callahan, in the long run he’s going to be a better option. Colombus should stay the course, their building something and when the times right they can add some complimentary free agents.

  6. dutchman1350 - Feb 5, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    I saw Superman today…he was wearing Boone Jenner pajamas.

  7. terrier92 - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Bluejackets are going to be tough out in playoffs . Play hard all the time quick to puck and keep coming . Saw against bruins and it was tough game. Hope Bruins draw a softie like Toronto in first round let Pens get them and get worn out

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