What can Seth Jones do that makes him so special?
Zach Werenski is clearly excited to have his defensive partner back, and understandably so after such a long gap of playing without him.
After being out for exactly four weeks with a sprained knee, Jones will finally return to the lineup for his first game of the 2018-2019 regular season tonight against the Arizona Coyotes at Nationwide Arena.
Returning to game action is one thing, but getting to be back together with his defensive partner of two seasons running in Zach Werenski is the icing on the cake.
Both young defensemen have been dealing with injuries between last postseason and now, and as a result, haven't touched the ice together in a game since a Game 6 loss to the Washington Capitals in April.
Werenski's offseason shoulder surgery afforded him one preseason game (ironically, the game immediately following Jones' injury in Clinton, NY). But that all ends tonight, and both players had plenty to say about one another ahead of their first game together in 2018-19:
"Zach's obviously a special talent, special player," said Jones on Monday. "The reads he makes on the ice makes your life a whole lot easier a lot of the time."
"He's one of the best (defensemen) in the league, so to get him back right now is awesome," said Werenski. "We've missed him, I think we've done a pretty good job for the most part without him, but it's going to be huge getting him back."
When asked if there would be any rust between the pair after not playing together for so long, Werenski seemed confident they can pick up where they left off.
"I think we'll be fine," said Werenski while smiling. "We've played in almost 160 games together. I think we'll be pretty fine tomorrow night."
Jones and Werenski are the best defensemen the club has ever had, and to have them both together under the age of 25 is overkill.
Their franchise record last season with 16 goals apiece for a defenseman will surely not be safe this year.
"He doesn't need anybody to tell him how to read the play offensively, or when to jump in or when to be patient," said Jones. "He lets the game come to him; he takes full advantage of all his offensive opportunities."
"He covers so much ice, it's crazy how good he is in the defensive zone, and then he's the first one up the ice in the play," said Werenski. "It's really fun to play with him."
Follow 1st Ohio Battery