Blue Jackets Defenseman Zach Werenski Among NHL's Elite Offensive Defensemen

By Coby Maeir on April 9, 2024 at 10:15 am
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) controls the puck in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena.
© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After a 2022-23 season that saw him miss the final 69 games with a torn labrum, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has been relatively healthy this season, playing in 66 of the team's 78 games. With that being said, it's no surprise that he's been one of the league's best offensive defensemen, posting 9-43--52. 

His 0.79 points per game are tied for ninth among defensemen with at least 60 games played and his 41 even-strength points are ninth-best among blueliners.

Analytically, he's 28th among defensemen in goals above replacement (GAR) and 29th among blueliners in wins above replacement (WAR), per EvolvingHockey.

While he has the 15th-worst even-strength defensive GAR among defensemen, his even-strength offensive GAR is the best among blueliners. 

After a season that was cut short by injury, Werenski has firmly re-established himself as an elite NHL defenseman, if he hadn't already. 

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