COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Zach Werenski to a six-year, $57.5 million contract extension worth more than $9.5 million a season making it the most lucrative deal in CBJ history.
Werenski, 24, has registered 65 goals, 124 assists and a +13 plus/minus rating in 335 NHL games.
Since making his debut with Columbus in 2016, Werenski ranks tied for third among NHL blueliners in goals and 19th in points. He is the club’s all-time leader in goals by a defenseman, while ranking second in points and fourth in assists.
“Zach Werenski has been one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League over the past five years and we are thrilled that he will continue to be a Blue Jacket and the leader of our blueline for at least the next seven years,” said CBJ general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. “As talented as Zach is and as much as he has achieved so early in his career, he is an even better person and will be a foundational player for our club as we move forward.”
Werenski was drafted 8th overall by CBJ in 2015.
During the 2020-21 season, Werenski tallied 7-13-20 and 13 penalty minutes in 35 games, while ranking second on the club ice time (24:11 avg.).
In 2019-20, he led all NHL defenseman and set a club record for goals by a blueliner with 20-21-41 in 63 games.
He has also added 4-9-13 and 15 penalty minutes in 29 career outings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Grosse Pointe, Michigan native is a product of the United States National Team Development Program and represented his country at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2015 and 2016, serving as team captain and capturing a bronze medal while being named the tournament’s Best Defenseman in 2016. He also played for Team USA at the 2019 IIHF World Championships.