Zach Werenski
Zach Werenski.jpg
Born July 19 1997 (1997-07-19) (age 22),
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, U.S.
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Defense
Shoots Left
NHL team Columbus Blue Jackets
NHL Draft 8th overall, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets
Playing career 2016–present

Zachary "Zach" Werenski (born July 19, 1997) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). Werenski was drafted eighth overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing careerEdit


Werenski trained with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program during the 2013–14 season. He finished second among team defensemen in scoring with seven goals and 20 assists in 47 games, despite missing time in November due to injury.[1]


During his freshman season, at the University of Michigan, Werenski recorded nine goals and 16 assists. Following an outstanding rookie season, Werenski was named to both the 2014-15 Big Ten All-Freshman Team and the All-Big Ten First Team.[2] Werenski's CHL rights are owned by the OHL's London Knights. He was drafted by them in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.

Following an outstanding season with the Wolverines, Werenski was named the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year[3] and was named to the All-Big Ten First Team. Werenski was the No. 1 scoring defenseman in the Big Ten and was second in the nation among blueliners in points with a career-best 11 goals and 25 assists in 36 games. His six power-play goals put him No. 2 in the nation among defensemen. He has 51 blocked shots on the season and became the 18th defenseman in Michigan history to record 10 goals in a single season and the first since Jacob Trouba scored 12 goals in 2012–13.[4] He was also named an AHCA First Team All-American.[5]

During the 2016 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Werenski and Kyle Connor tied the record for most assists in the Big Ten tournament championship game with three assists. Werenski and Connor also tied the record for points in a championship game with four points. He was also named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.[6][7]


On June 26, 2015, Werenski was drafted 8th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.[8]

On March 29, 2016, Werenski signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, beginning with the 2016-17 season.[9] He was signed to an American Hockey League amateur tryout contract with the Lake Erie Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.[10]

He made his professional debut for the Monsters on April 1, 2016. On April 9, he scored his first professional goal, the overtime game-winning goal against Nathan Lieuwen of the Rochester Americans.[11] During the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs, Werenski recorded five goals and nine assists, to help lead the Monsters to their first Calder Cup championship.[12]

On October 13, 2016, Werenski made his debut for the Blue Jackets in the season opening-game and scored his first NHL point with an assist.[13] On October 15, 2016, in his second NHL game, Werenski scored his first goal against Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks.[14] Werenski was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November 2016[15]

International playEdit

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of the United States United States of America
Ice hockey
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
Gold 2014 Canada
IIHF World Junior Championship
Bronze 2016 Finland

Werenski represented the United States at the 2014 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, where he recorded one assist in six games, and won a gold medal. Werenski represented the United States at the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, where he recorded one goal and one assist in five games, and finished in 5th place.[16]

Werenski was named captain of the Team USA at the 2016 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.[17] Werenski recorded two goals and seven assists in seven games, and won a bronze medal. He was awarded the IIHF Directorate Top Defenseman award, and was named to the tournament All-Star team.[18]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2013–14 U.S. National Development Team USHL 35 6 13 19 17
2014–15 University of Michigan B1G 35 9 16 25 8
2015–16 University of Michigan B1G 36 11 25 36 20
2015–16 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 7 1 0 1 0 17 5 9 14 2
2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 78 11 36 47 14 3 1 0 1 0
NHL totals 78 11 36 47 14 3 1 0 1 0


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2014 United States U17 Gold medal icon 6 0 1 1 0
2015 United States WJC 5th 5 1 1 2 2
2016 United States WJC Bronze medal icon 7 2 7 9 4
Junior totals 18 3 9 12 6

Awards and achievementsEdit

Awards Year
All-Big Ten Freshman Team 2015 [2]
All-Big Ten First Team
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year 2016 [4]
All-Big Ten First Team
AHCA West First-Team All-American 2016 [5]
Big Ten All-Tournament Team 2016 [6]
Calder Cup (Lake Erie Monsters) 2016 [12]
IIHF World Junior Championships Best Defenseman 2016 [18]
IIHF World Junior Championships All-Star Team


  1. Zach Werenski Bio. CBS Interactive. Retrieved on March 22, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hyman, Larkin Lead Quintet of U-M All-Big Ten Honorees. CBS Interactive (March 16, 2015). Retrieved on March 16, 2015.
  3. "Hockey Postseason Honors Announced". 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Connor, Berenson Head List of All-Big Ten Award Winners. CBS Interactive (March 14, 2016). Retrieved on March 14, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Four Icers Earn All-America Honors; Connor Named Top Rookie. CBS Interactive (April 8, 2016). Retrieved on April 8, 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 2016 All-Tournament Team. CBS Interactive (March 19, 2016). Retrieved on March 19, 2016.
  7. 2016 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Game 5 Notes. CBS Interactive (March 19, 2016). Retrieved on March 19, 2016.
  8. Werenski, Incoming Freshman Connor Selected in 2015 NHL Draft. CBS Interactive (June 26, 2015). Retrieved on June 26, 2015.
  9. Blue Jackets sign Zach Werenski to three-year, entry level contract. Columbus Blue Jackets (March 29, 2016). Retrieved on March 29, 2016.
  10. Zach Werenski signs amateur tryout contract with AHL's Lake Erie Monsters. Columbus Blue Jackets (March 29, 2016). Retrieved on March 29, 2016.
  11. Werenski's First Pro Goal Lifts Monsters to OT Win. Lake Erie Monsters (April 9, 2016). Retrieved on April 9, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Brown, Tony (June 12, 2016). Bjorkstrand's OT goal clinches Monsters' first-ever Calder Cup championship. Columbus Blue Jackets. Retrieved on June 12, 2016.
  13. Brad Marchand's five points help Bruins win opener (October 14, 2016). Retrieved on October 16, 2016.
  14. Merz, Craig (October 16, 2016). Sharks hand Blue Jackets second straight loss. Retrieved on October 16, 2016.
  15. "November rookie of the month: Columbus Blue Jackets' Zach Werenski". 
  16. Zach Werenski Statistics. USA Hockey. Retrieved on March 22, 2015.
  17. Werenski Named Captain of U.S. World Junior Team. CBS Interactive (December 22, 2015). Retrieved on December 22, 2015.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Puljujarvi MVP, Best Forward. International Ice Hockey Federation (January 5, 2016). Retrieved on January 5, 2016.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sonny Milano
Columbus Blue Jackets first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Gabriel Carlsson
Preceded by
Mike Reilly
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Jake Bischoff
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