Werenski (shoulder) is hoping to be ready for the Blue Jackets' Opening Night clash with Detroit on Oct. 4, NHL.com reports. Werenski seems motivated to get healthy, telling NHL.com, "My goal, ultimately, is to be there for Game 1." However, he did also leave open the possibility he might not reach his goal, "If it's later, like five or game 10, whenever that is, I'm going to work to miss as few games as possible." Even if the defender is sidelined for a bit, he remains a top-end defensive option and should challenge for the 40-point threshold.
Werenski underwent shoulder surgery Thursday morning and is expected to miss 5-to-6 months, Blue Jackets beat writer Brian Hedger reports. According to this latest report, Werenski has been hampered by this shoulder issue since an Oct. 30 contest against the Bruins. His projected recovery timeline suggests that he's likely to miss all of training camp, but him being ready for the start of the regular season seems possible if there are no setbacks over the summer. Werenski is an outstanding offensive blueliner who notched 16 goals, 21 assists (10 power-play points) and 92 blocked shots over 77 games as a second-year skater this season, though the Capitals held him in check offensively during the conference quarterfinals as he played through the injury.
Werenski scored a power-play goal on five shots and had two assists in a 5-4 overtime win versus the Capitals in Sunday's Game 2. Werenski was overshadowed by Seth Jones' breakout season, but he has plenty of offensive talent in his own right. The 21-year-old had 16 goals on 207 shots in 77 games, and this was a real showcase for his skills.
Werenski (rest) will not play Saturday night, with the Blue Jackets on the road taking on the Predators, Rob Mixer of 1stOhioBattery.com reports. Werenski took a step back offensively, as he experienced a 10-point drop compared to his rookie output in 2016-17. Don't get us wrong -- 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) was definitely serviceable for fantasy owners, but Werenski only had three goals and seven assists on the man advantage after exploding for 21 points in that spot last season.
Werenski scored a power-play goal and an even-strength assist while adding four shots and a hit in Thursday's 5-4 overtime win over the Avalanche. The 21-year-old has caught fire at the right time for the Jackets, and Werenski now has three goals and six points in his last five games. His ice time has actually been dwindling a bit lately -- he's played fewer than 20 minutes in three straight contests -- but the team's increased depth on the blue line following the addition of Ian Cole and the return of Ryan Murray from injury have allowed coach John Tortorella to go easy on his young stud defenseman with an eye on keeping him fresh for the postseason, or at least a playoff push.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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