Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski of Grosse Pointe, Michigan suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on Friday. This is a big blow to the Blue Jackets because Werenski, when healthy, is considered one of the best blueliners from an offensive perspective in the National Hockey League.
How the Injury Happened
Werenski suffered not just one, but two shoulder injuries on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, a 5-2 Columbus win. He suffered a torn labrum and separated shoulder when he went into the boards awkwardly. Werenski was attempting to bodycheck Flyers forward Travis Konecny, but missed.
2022-23 NHL Statistics
In 13 games this season, Werenski had three goals and eight assists for 11 points. He was a -6 with two power-play points, 41 shots on goal, 24 blocked shots, five hits, 14 takeaways, and nine giveaways.
Seven Seasons in Columbus
Werenski has spent his entire career with Columbus since being selected in the first round, eighth overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In 416 games, he has 79 goals and 116 assists for 245 points. Werenski is a -8 with 93 penalty minutes, 80 power-play points, two short-handed points, 12 game-winning goals, 1086 shots on goal, 487 blocked shots, 261 hits, 194 takeaways, and 242 giveaways.
Werenski’s lone career shorthanded goal came on December 21, 2019 in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. It put the Blue Jackets up 4-1 at 17:08 of the third period into an empty net. Seth Jones of Arlington, Texas and Boone Jenner of Dorchester, Ontario picked up the assists.
On the 2016-17 NHL All-Rookie Team
In his rookie season, Werenski was on the 2016-17 NHL All-Rookie Team. In 78 games, he had 11 goals and 36 assists for 47 points. Werenski was a +17 with 14 penalty minutes, 21 power-play points, one game-winning goal, 188 shots on goal, 90 blocked shots, 41 hits, 27 takeaways, and 40 giveaways.
Werenski’s game-winning goal in his rookie season came on November 9, 2016 in a 3-2 Columbus win over the Anaheim Ducks. He scored the overtime winner from Alexander Wennberg of Stockholm, Sweden, and Brandon Saad of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 1:21 of the extra period.
Second worst record in the NHL
The Blue Jackets are worst in the Eastern Conference right now at four wins, nine regulation losses and one loss in extra time for nine points. Only the Anaheim Ducks are worse, as they have a record of four wins, 10 regulation losses and one loss in extra time.