The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenceman Zach Werenski to a six-year contract worth $57.5 million, or $9.583 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2027-28 season. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston first reported the news that was confirmed by the club. The contract starts in the 2022-23 season.
Get ready for six more(enski) of @ZachWerenski 🔥
Check out all the fun, contract extension details ⬇️
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) July 30, 2021
Zach Werenski Signs Extension with Columbus
Over his five-year NHL career, Werenski has played only for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has put up 65 goals and 124 assists for 189 career points in 335 career games. Columbus originally drafted the Grosse Pointe, Mich. native in the first round, eighth overall of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Last season he scored seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 35 games. He also added 13 penalty minutes in an injury-riddled season. His possession numbers were 50.1 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 5.8.
He also has four goals and nine assists for 13 points and 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Blue Jackets. He’s scored at least one goal in all four postseasons he’s appeared in.
Werenski was a standout with the University of Michigan and won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also represented the United States on the international level at the 2019 IIHF World Championships. He was instrumental in the Lake Erie Monsters winning the Calder Cup in 2016.
What This Means for the Future
The 24-year-old gets a nice late birthday present with this new contract. Columbus makes Werenski the cornerstone of its rebuild with the big-money contract. The Blue Jackets were able to pay their star defender after making the Seth Jones trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.
General manager Jarmo Kekalainen called Werenski one of the best defencemen in the league over the last five years. The numbers back that up as he’s tied for third in goals among blueliners during that period. He’s also 19th in points among defenders during that same five-year span.