Blue Jackets Defenseman Zach Werenski's Return To The Lineup Proves He's Elite

By Coby Maeir on January 31, 2024 at 12:22 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

In the four games since returning from an ankle injury he suffered on Dec. 27, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has proven why he's an elite NHL blueliner. In the 10 games he missed, the team went 3-5-2 and is 2-1-1 in the games since he returned. 

In Tuesday's 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues, Werenski provided the primary assist on the game's lone goal with a beautiful play to find Dmitri Voronkov. 

Werenski recorded a game score of 2.06, which is very good, on Tuesday, and has averaged a 1.3 game score since returning, according to

He leads the team with 27 assists in addition to's goals above replacement (9.2) and wins above replacement (1.5) metrics. Among NHL defensemen with at least 920 minutes, he's 12th in both GAR per 60 minutes and WAR per 60 minutes. 

For the Blue Jackets to be competitive, they need Weresnki to be on the ice because when he's on the ice, he's elite.