Seth Jones and Zach Werenski Are Among the League's Top 20 Defensemen, According to NHL Network

By Peter Fish on August 20, 2019 at 8:32 am
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8), defenseman Seth Jones (3), and center Pierre-Luc Dubois (18) high fives fans as they take the ice during warmups prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets' defense corps is stacked with talent. Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Ryan Murray and David Savard have all proven to be top four defensemen in the NHL – and not every team has a that luxury. Markus Nutivaara is right there with them.

Additionally, not every team has the luxury of have not just one, but two defensemen named to a list of the league's best. According to a new ranking released by the NHL Network, both Jones and Werenski fit that billing.

Werenski just makes the cut as the 20th defenseman on the list, while Jones just sneaks into the top five. We won't argue the ranking (it's not going to change, after all), but if we're talking about the NHL's best defensemen right now, it's fair to say Jones might be a little higher on the list.

Since turning pro with the Blue Jackets, Werenski has recorded 128 points in 237 games, giving him a points per game average of 0.54 in his first three seasons, which would be higher had he been healthy during his sophomore season. But his presence and defensive play on the blue line is just as important to the Blue Jackets as his offensive output.

Meanwhile, Jones joined the club in a trade with the Nashville Predators and immediately became an important player on the blue line. In his three and a half seasons in Columbus, Jones has put up 165 points in 209 games. Jones has become one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but only recently worked his way into the Norris Trophy conversation. It's a safe bet he'll be in that mix for years to come. 

If the Blue Jackets have anything to say about it, these guys will be together for the rest of their NHL careers, because having two top defensemen is not something that any team wants to relinquish.