When you think of all-time Columbus Blue Jackets' defensemen, it's hard to think past Seth Jones and Zach Werenski without realizing how limited the team used to be at that position.
The league is becoming aware of this, too; NHL Network ranked their top-20 defensemen (as of right now) on Sunday night, and the young dynamic duo from the Jackets made the cut.
Jones (23-years-old) nearly cracked the top-five, after ending his best season to date with a fourth place earning in the Norris Trophy race. Similarly, NHL Network had him at No. 4 on their top-20 list:
After a straight up trade that sent Ryan Johansen to Nashville and Jones to Columbus in 2016, it was believed by some that the swap was more of an "addition by subtraction" by dealing away Johansen.
Jones proved quite the opposite, becoming one of the most impactful players in franchise history in just two and a half seasons. His 57 points during his 2017-2018 campaign were the most ever by a Blue Jackets' defenseman.
The NHL Network crew also named Werenski (21-years-old) as No. 12 on their list:
Man, these two guys. Not bad, Jarmo, not bad.
As good as the younger of the two has been, even Werenski was not immune to the "sophomore slump". Yet he still proved himself as arguably the best rookie in club history in 2016-2017, which was a difficult standard to follow up on.
Along with any sort of pressure to be the all-star level defensemen that every fan was expecting him to be, Werenski was clearly playing through a shoulder injury throughout the entire past season.
Zach Werenski declined to comment on his injury. Said it occurred in the first home game vs Boston. #CBJ
— Alison (@AlisonL) April 24, 2018
Even with his 10-point decline from his first season with the Jackets, Werenski still set a club record for most goals by a defenseman with 16.
And yes, you guessed it, Jones tied that record by season's end.
The Blue Jackets' future is consistently looking better with both of these stars being present, and the fact that both of them are roughly around the age of the normal college graduates is...very exciting.