Columbus Blue Jackets Re-sign Zach Werenski

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 14: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 14, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that they have re-signed defenceman Zach Werenski to a three-year contract. The deal has an annual cap hit of $5 million.

Zach Werenski Re-signs with the Columbus Blue Jackets

In 82 games last season, Werenski scored 11 goals and added 33 assists for 44 points. His possession numbers were 53.7 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 4.6.

In 10 playoff games, he scored one goal and five assists for six points.

Over his three year NHL career with Columbus, Werenski has scored 38 goals and 90 assists for 128 points in 237 games.

Werenski was originally drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round, eighth overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

What This Means for the Future

The Blue Jackets locked up a big part of their future by getting their star defenceman under contract. Werenski is a solid two-way defenceman who has consistently put up points for the Blue Jackets over his three-year career. He’s averaged 42.7 points per season over this span all while playing a solid defensive game. Werenski along with partner Seth Jones are relied upon to shut down the oppositions top lines each and every night. In this year’s playoffs, Werenski averaged 26:37 minutes of ice time per game. That’s almost four minutes more than his regular-season average and only two minutes less than team leader Seth Jones. The two were basically relied upon to play half the game and were a big reason why Columbus was able to sweep the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Werenski has developed into a top-pairing defenceman for the Blue Jackets. He has great top-end speed and puck-moving abilities. His vision mixed with his passing and puck handling abilities allow him to be able to quarterback the powerplay for the Jackets. On the defensive side, he has great positioning and keeps the opposition in front of him. He is able to use his speed to defend off the rush and get back quickly if defending in transition. Werenski isn’t afraid to lay the body and works hard in the corners battling for pucks as well as in front of the net. He is the definition of a two-way defender.

The Blue Jackets are going to have a much different look this season but their defence group should mostly stay intact. Werenski was the only big-name free agent on the back end that the Blue Jackets had to worry about. Getting him under contract solidifies one of the leagues best defence groups from last season.

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