Zach Werenski Has Become One of the Blue Jackets' Top Offensive Weapons

By Nic Hendrickson on March 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm
Zach Werenski
Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports

Zach Werenski has spent his entire (albeit short) Columbus Blue Jackets career proving time and time again that he is truly a talent to behold.

When Werenski entered the NHL Draft, many believed he would develop into a strong defenseman at the NHL level, but few believed he would be among elite talent as quickly as he has. In only a few years' time, Werenski has become one of the Blue Jackets' top offensive producers – and he's got a defense partner in Seth Jones that's keeping pace, as well.

Blue Jackets team reporter Jeff Svoboda posed an interesting, and seemingly difficult question to answer for many, question on Sunday regarding the goal-scoring ability of the young defenseman. Svoboda asked fans to name the two NHL defensemen that have scored more goals than Werenski during his time in the league, which began with the 2016-17 season.

Many fans had a hard time answering the question correctly, but one answer was often chosen, and was one of the correct answers. Many hazarded a guess that San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was one of those to score more during that period.

When you're mentioned in the same vein as Burns in goal-scoring as a defenseman, you know you're doing something right. And with the sample size for Werenski being over the course of 300 games, it's safe to say that his offense is not a flash in the pan.

For reference, during this time Werenski has scored 58 goals in 300 games for an average of 15.85 over the course of an 82-game season. Burns has scored 69 goals during this period in 316 games for an average of 17.91 per 82-game season, a number that's boosted by a 29-goal season in 2016-17.

The second name to this impromptu pop quiz was a bit less obvious. The other defenseman who has scored more goals than Werenski during this time is none other than current Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

Hamilton, 26, has scored 62 goals during this time period in 292 games, an average of 17.41 goals per 82-game season. Not too shabby.

So while Werenski hasn't yet hit the same level of scoring as the other two, his production has been a major benefit to a Blue Jackets team that has struggled to score goals. Werenski is a 22-year-old with prime playing years ahead of him, Hamilton is undeniably already in his prime, and Burns is in the conversation due to a stellar year before a very slight decline due to his career trajectory.

At the end of the day, this is just another point to prove the obvious fact that Werenski is undeniably among elite talent when it comes to NHL defensemen.

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