Zach Werenski
Zach Werenski
22-Year-Old DefensemanD
Columbus Blue Jackets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Among active NHL defensemen, only Aaron Ekblad tallied more goals by his age-21 season than Werenski's 38, and Ekblad has a one-season head start, debuting at 18 instead of 19. Now a grizzled 22, Werenski has been a power-play stalwart for the Blue Jackets ever since he stepped on the ice, combining slick passing and excellent vision with an uncanny knack for getting his point shot through traffic and behind the goalie. He's also worked hard to develop the rest of his game, although last year's minus-12 rating was a step backwards from his first two seasons. Seth Jones is the unquestioned top dog on the Columbus blue line thanks to his all-around ability, but Werenski is the blueliner with highest pure offensive ceiling, and his best days remain ahead of him. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Blue Jackets in September of 2019.
Inks $15 million deal
DColumbus Blue Jackets
September 9, 2019
The Blue Jackets signed Werenski to a three-year, $15 million contract Monday, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Werenski looked prepared to hold out of training camp by not signing his qualifying offer, but those issues are in the past as Werenski has signed a short-term deal. When the deal expires Werenski will still be a restricted free agent. Werenski had an excellent 2018-19 campaign -- he posted 11 goals and 44 points -- and he's still just 22 years old with plenty of potential. The Blue Jackets lost a ton of firepower this offseason when Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky signed elsewhere, so Werenski will continue to be relied upon with Seth Jones on both ends of the ice.
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2018–19 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    22:54
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    2:27
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:17
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2016–17
20:55
2:47
0:45
2017–18
22:35
2:26
0:46
2018–19
22:54
2:27
1:17
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
A lingering shoulder injury that eventually required offseason surgery prevented Werenski from building on his impressive rookie performance, but the 21-year-old was still able to make an impact with a career-high 16 goals. When he's healthy, he's a dynamic power-play quarterback and offensive threat at even strength, showing excellent passing skills and hockey IQ with a shot from the point that has an uncanny knack for finding its way through traffic. Werenski isn't a one-dimensional attacking player, though -- he's registered positive plus-minus ratings in both his NHL seasons and provides a calm, efficient presence in his own end. He's not as physical as his blue-line partner Seth Jones, but he doesn't need to be. His recovery from surgery could linger into the regular season and cause a slow start, but once he's 100 percent expect Werenski to enjoy a breakout campaign.
Werenski was a revelation as a teenager in his NHL debut last season, immediately stepping into the Blue Jackets lineup as their top offensive weapon on the blue line while holding his own as a defender. The eighth overall pick in 2015 displayed great vision and passing ability on the attack, as well as an uncanny knack for getting his shot through traffic from the point, and his presence was one of the key ingredients in a revitalized Columbus power play through the early part of the season. Expectations will be sky-high for the burgeoning superstar in 2017-18, but his talent and supporting cast should allow him to avoid a sophomore slump and top the 50-point mark.
More Fantasy News
Looking to sign soon
DColumbus Blue Jackets
August 14, 2019
Werenski is slated to sign a new contract with the Blue Jackets prior to training camp, NHL.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Qualified by Columbus
DColumbus Blue Jackets
June 25, 2019
Werenski has received a qualifying offer from the Blue Jackets, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Joining Team USA
DColumbus Blue Jackets
May 13, 2019
Werenski was added to the Team USA roster for the 2019 IIHF World Championship, Jeff Svoboda of Jackets' Insider reports.
ANALYSIS
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Goldie Howe hat trick against Bolts
DColumbus Blue Jackets
April 12, 2019
Werenski scored a goal and an assist -- both on the power play -- while adding two shots, a blocked shot, a hit, a five-minute fighting major and a plus-1 rating in Friday's 5-1 win over the Lightning in Game 2 of their first-round series.
ANALYSIS
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Returns after passing protocol
DColumbus Blue Jackets
March 31, 2019
Werenski underwent concussion protocol Sunday after being elbowed in the head by Jack Eichel during a 4-0 win over the Sabres, Tom Reed of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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