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Top 25 Under 25: Zach Werenski is now the unquestioned number one defenseman on the roster

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Werenski, recovered from hernia surgery, is set to be the featured defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Thanks to everyone who voted for this year’s Top 25 Under 25 ranking. We had 102 submissions from Columbus Blue Jackets fans. We’ve been counting down the 25 highest voted players over the last five weeks. Up next: Zach Werenski

#1: Zach Werenski

Voting

1st out of 38 eligible players
Writer Rank: 1st
Reader Rank: 1st
Highest placement: 1 (84 votes)
Most common placement: 1 (84 votes)
2019 rank: 2nd

Biography

Birthdate: July 19, 1997
Birthplace: Grosse Point, MI
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 218 lbs
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round, 8th overall, by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft

2020-21 Season Review

Werenski’s 2020-21 season was cut short after just 35 games. On April 9, he was placed on season-ending injured reserve to repair an inguinal/sports hernia. He managed to put up seven goals and 13 assists to go along with 50.1 CF% in 24:22 per night. After losing Werenski, the Blue Jackets defense struggled for the remainder of the season.

2021-22 Season Outlook

Werenski enters next season as the undisputed number one defenseman on the roster. With Seth Jones traded and Werenski signing a massive 6-year, $57.5 million contract extension that keeps him under team control for seven more years, he will be the featured leader of a remade blue line next season. Werenski underwent successful surgery on April 14 and, with a recovery time frame of six to eight weeks, is expected to be fully healthy as training camp opens in a couple weeks.

Highlights