Blue Jackets: Zach Werenski to miss the remainder of the season

Two-time All Star defensemen, Zach Werenski will miss the remainder of the season Photo Credit: Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

In what has been a rough start to the 2022-’23 season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team received some bad news and one that will challenge depth and player development. Two-time All-Star defenseman, Zach Werenski, suffered a separated shoulder and torn labrum in Thursday night’s win against the Philadelphia Flyers. What does it mean for the Blue Jackets? Can the team overcome what amounts to a devastating loss? That is the question.

Before we dive further in on the Werenski situation, in the same game Thursday night, defensemen Nick Blankenburg broke his ankle and will miss 6-8 weeks. Fellow defenseman Erik Gudbranson received two lacerations (bridge of nose and forehead) and is listed as day-to-day. The Blue Jackets have called up Gavin Bayreuther, Marcus Bjork, and Jake Christiansen from the Cleveland Monsters.

David Jiricek was recalled yesterday as well. Jiricek was returned to the Monsters in favor of Christiansen last night. The assumption is that prior to entering LTIR, it adds $1,000,000 to the Blue Jackets LTIPB pool. Jiricek, who did get a quick look by the Blue Jackets two weeks ago, performed well. Not wanting to burn through his ELC, Jiricek was returned to Cleveland following the Blue Jackets Global Series in Finland.

The loss of Werenski is a big blow to a Blue Jackets that has struggled to play the man-to-man scheme consistently. Werenski had transitioned into the scheme with relative ease. Icing over 20 minutes a game and is a reliable, steady player who anchored the blueline, Werenski has been the face of the Blue Jackets defense for a couple of seasons, and with good reason. Werenski was ranked as the 16th-best defensive player in the NHL before the start of the season. The team will have to lean on Jake Bean, Andrew Peeke, and Vladislav Gavrikov to anchor a young, primarily inexperienced defensive crop.

Gavin Bayreuther and Jake Christiansen have seen limited action with the Blue Jackets. They will now be counted on heavily. Marcus Bjork is an exciting player for the Blue Jackets. He signed a one-year free-agent contract after spending his entire pro career in Sweden. Bjork is a right-shot defenseman who has transitioned into a very steady player after being offensive-minded.

While not an ideal situation for the Blue Jackets, it is next man up by force. I suspect the Blue Jackets will want to stay internal and not bring in a player or two via trades. David Jiricek, Denton Mateychuk, and Corson Ceulemans give the Blue Jackets some solid defensive prospects. Jiricek and Ceulemans are expected to be in Columbus next season.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Five Potential Free Agent Wingers For The Boston Bruins

Some would say that the Boston Bruins overachieved this past season by reaching the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Many pundits had the Bruins fighting for a playoff spot, but instead, Boston managed to finish second in the Atlantic Division, missing out on a division title by just one point. Heading into this […]

Read More

NHL Playoffs: Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers Series Preview

The Eastern Conference Finals is set for a duel between the two division winners, the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers. The Rangers have only dropped two games so far this playoffs to Carolina. However, it’s worth noting that they played the Capitals in round 1, a team that barely made the playoffs and […]

Read More

2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Macklin Celebrini

The Scouting Report: Celebrini is going to be an entertaining player to watch as he develops and grows into himself. Ever since he returned to play from his shoulder surgery last year, he has been on a tear. During this season with Boston University, Celebrini played in 38 games and notched 32 goals with 32 […]

Read More