The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that defenceman Zach Werenski is going on the IR due to an sports hernia. Werenski will have surgery next week and is done for the season. The Blue Jackets sit seventh in the Discover Central Division, seven points back of the Nashville Predators.
Zach Werenski Sidelined With Sports Hernia
So far this season, Zach Werenski has scored seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points to go along with 13 minutes in penalties. This is good enough for 34th in points among all league defenders this season. His value numbers consist of 2.8 GAR (goals above replacement) and 1.2 OFF (total offensive value). (Stats via Evolving-Hockey).
Over his five-year NHL career, Werenski has remained with the club that drafted him. He was selected in the first round, eighth overall in the 2015 NHL draft. The 23-year-old defenceman spent two seasons with the University of Michigan, before joining the Blue Jackets. Through 335 career games, Werenski has recorded 65 goals and 124 assists for 189 points.
What The Future Holds
The Columbus Blue Jackets defence has taken a heavy hit with the loss of Werenski. With the trade deadline approaching, the Blue Jackets may look to have a fire sale. With David Savard buzzing in trade rumours, the team could fall deeper in the standings. Forwards Max Domi and Patrik Laine have struggled heavily this season, combining for 14 goals and 31 points on the season.
Head coach John Torteralla could see the end of his time in Columbus as soon as this off-season. Depending on their final position in the standings, the Blue Jackets could potentially creep up in the draft lottery. The team could use additional help at forward, especially with trade rumours circling around Nick Foligno. Overall, if the Blue Jackets could sell a few core pieces, a quick retool and coaching change could put the club in the right direction.