Name: Zach Werenski, #8
Birthplace: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Age: 19, born 7/19/97
Height/Weight: 6 ft 2 in/ 206 lbs
What he has going for him:
The eighth overall pick in last year’s draft, expectations for Werenski are high after helping the minor league affiliate Lake Erie Monsters (now Cleveland Monsters) win the Calder Cup scoring 5 goals and racking up 9 assists in 17 playoff games. Skilled at moving the puck, while also possessing a shot that could be very valuable to the CBJ power play, Werenski brings a skill set that could help fix the possession issues the team had in bringing the puck out of its own zone last year. He fits nicely with our young top line and should be paired with either Savard or Johnson as he starts skating in the NHL.
What he has going against him:
Expectation. His AHL playoff stats are great, but in the seven regular season games that he joined the monsters for he tallied 1 goal and no assists, though his +/- was +2. This could simply have been acclimation and perhaps only looking at his offensive prowess is unfair (he is a defenseman after-all), but these are the statistics I had to work with. In a city that is desperate for a winning hockey team, every young potential star has the weight of being viewed as the next coming. Hopefully that weight does not stymie what looks to be a promising addition.
Prediction for this season:
Werenski is going to have a chance to show his stuff starting with opening night. I have high hopes for the defenseman and believe with Bobrovsky’s improved play our defense is going to surprise many around the league.
’16-’17 Jackets Rant stat line prediction: Goals: 8, Assists: 12, Total Points: 20