Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: zach werenski

Morning Line- Zach Werenski

"I have goals going into each year that I set for myself. Obviously you have to take every game and every season in stride. You never know what is going to happen, you never know what a team is going to do or whatnot. 

"Twenty goals was a number I thought I could hit. Whether it was 17 or 19 or 22, I don't really know, but that was the kind of number I wanted to get near. Scoring 20, that has a lot to do with your teammates. I have said this before, but it seems like I'm just getting ice and they're finding me and pucks are finding me. I've been pretty fortunate this year with that."

-Zach Werenski, defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Jeff Svoboda of BlueJactes.com has more on Werenski.

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Zach Werenski Out A Month With A Shoulder Injury

from the Columbus Blue Jackets,

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is expected to miss four weeks due to a shoulder injury suffered in the first period of last night's game at the New York Islanders, club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Werenski, 22, leads all club defensemen in scoring this season with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 26 games. His goal, assist and point totals rank third overall on the club. Columbus' first selection, eighth overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft, he has registered 44-100-144 with 56 penalty minutes and a cumulative +7 plus/minus rating in 263 career NHL games.


Watch the injury below.

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A Three-Year Deal For Zach Werenski In Columbus

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed restricted free agent defenseman Zach Werenski to a three-year, $15 million contract through the 2021-22 season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. 

Werenski, 22, is a former Calder Memorial Trophy finalist, NHL All-Rookie Team selection and 2018 NHL All-Star who has registered 38 goals and 90 assists for 128 points with 48 penalty minutes and a +13 plus/minus rating in 237 career games over the course of his first three NHL seasons. His 38 goals rank ninth and his 128 points are tied for 21st among all NHL defensemen since 2016. He also has added 3-7-10, 11 penalty minutes and is +1 in 19 career games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

"Zach Werenski is one of the best young defensemen in the National Hockey League and we couldn't be happier that he will continue to be a foundational player for the Columbus Blue Jackets," said Kekalainen. "He is a gifted offensive player that has continued to improve in all facets of the game and will be an elite player for many years."

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Video- Zach Werenski’s Recovery From Shoulder Surgery

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Zach Werenski’s Goal Is To Be Ready For Opening Night

from Brian Hedger of BlueJackets.com,

He's still going through rehab exercises, but Zach Werenski is making good progress with his surgically-repaired shoulder this summer.

The 21-year old defenseman is back on the ice, even stepping into slap shots, and he's hoping to take his first contact at some point in training camp. His focus is also locked on Oct. 4 at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit, when the Blue Jackets will open the 2018-19 regular season against the Detroit Red Wings - the team he cheered growing up in Grosse Pointe, Mich.

"My goal, ultimately, is to be there for Game 1," Werenski told BlueJackets.com. "You never want to miss time, you never want to miss games, so my goal going into training camp and into the season is to be ready for Game 1. If it's later, like Game 5 or Game 10, whenever that is, I'm going to work to miss as few games as possible and be ready to help the team."


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Zach Werenski Out 5-6 Months After Shoulder Surgery

via BlueJackets.com,

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski underwent successful surgery earlier today to repair an injured shoulder, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. Larry Watson, one of the club's OhioHealth team physicians, at Orthopedic ONE in Columbus. Full recovery is expected to take five to six months.

"Zach has been dealing with this injury since early in the season and while he was able to play through it, our medical team determined that surgery was the best option at this time," said Kekalainen. "The surgery went very well and the expectation is Zach will be ready to play by the start of the season or shortly thereafter."

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Zach Werenski Done For The Year With A Facial Fracture


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Video- Zach Werenski Takes A Puck To The Face And Penguins Score

Tough spot for the refs but I believe they played it correctly.  If the Blue Jackets had gained possession, then the whistle probably would have blown.



added 8:20pm, Watch the CBJ broadcast below....

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Video- Zach Werenski Leaves Game After Hit From Alex Ovechkin


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Werenski and Jones rocking the Blue Jackets

From the Columbus Dispatch's Michael Arace:

The Blue Jackets are vastly improved for many reasons, first and foremost this one: the burgeoning awesomeness of Seth Jones and the ethereal quality of Zach Werenski. They were not expected to put themselves among the league's elite, not this year.

Jones and Werenski are ranked among the top 15 scorers among defensemen — which cannot be said for any other pair on any other team. Don't tell me you saw this coming. Their combined age (41) is two years older than Zdeno Chara and four years younger than Jaromir Jagr. At this time last year, Jones looked like a solid No. 3 and Werenski was preparing for midterms.

They have been at the forefront of the startling transformation of what was, for years and years and years, and years and years, the most nondescript team in the NHL — and, arguably, in all of American professional sports. A healthy Sergei Bobrovsky and an emergent Alexander Wennberg have contributed mightily to the Jackets' suddenly terrific assemblage, but the two defensemen are the poured-cement foundation.


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Zach Werenski’s First Year In The NHL

from Daneil J. Friedman of Sports Illustrated,

The 19-year-old blueliner from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, says the entire thing still feels like a whirlwind.

“I don’t really think it’s hit me yet,” says Werenski. “I feel like when you dream about playing in the NHL, it never really hits you.”

The NHL experience can be a challenge for those new to the circuit, even away from the rink.

“The change off the ice is the hardest part,” he says. “Going to college, where you have classes and a full day, then practice later and then homework, you’re pretty much busy six or seven days of the week. You get to the NHL and you go to the rink for two hours a day, and then you have downtime. I think the hardest part for me is finding hobbies and things to do. You want to rest whenever you can, but at some point you also want to do things.”

Werenski has had to adjust to another big change from college hockey: less practices and optional morning skates.

“We don’t really practice much and, when we do, it’s pretty short,” he says. “At first, I didn’t like it. I felt like I wasn’t getting enough puck touches and wasn’t feeling good on the ice with the puck, but now that I’m used to it, I really enjoy it. I feel like the rest is needed and that it’s only going to pay off in the long run.”

read on

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Consider Zach Werenski A Top Calder Candidate

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are the National Hockey League’s marquee rookies, but the best one might be Zach Werenski.

The Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman is flying under the radar but plays on first defensive pairing minutes with the league’s most surprising team — an NHL task considerably trickier to navigate as a teenager than as a forward.

Laine scores goals and Matthews puts up points, but Werenski is playing 22 minutes a game — on the power play, killing penalties, 5-on-5. He might be the No. 1 defenceman on a team that’s lost five games in regulation. Also the NHL’s best rookie.

continued plus many other hockey points...

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Zach Werenski’s Rookie Season

from Chris Lomon of NHLPA.com,

Amid a season showcasing some serious NHL rookie talent, first-year defenceman Zach Werenski looks right at home amongst his peers.

With big-name rookies – like Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, the New York Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey, along with Winnipeg’s Patrick Laine – turning heads with their play, it might be easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Not the case when it comes to Werenski.

Selected eighth overall by Columbus last year, the 19-year-old was given a shot to make his mark with the Blue Jackets in 2016-17.

It’s safe to say he hasn’t wasted the opportunity.

In 24 games, Werenski has six goals and 11 assists. He’s also consistently earned lofty praise from teammates and coaches.


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John Tortorella Impressed By Zach Werenski’s OT Goal

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

Tortorella marveled at how Werenski pushed through in a game that was, at times a struggle. It's easy for young players -- especially defensman -- to get down when the game tries to humble them.
He also marveled at Werenski's game-winner.

“I’d like to see how many players in this league could get it backhand to forehand in the net as quickly as he did on that goal,” Tortorella said. "There are some great young players in this game, and you hear their names all the time. We have a defenseman. To me, that's a key position in our game. To have a kid like that, who I thought struggled at times tonight, but he makes a huge play right there."

more on the Blue Jackets 3-2 OT win over the Ducks...

Watch Werenski's OT goal below...

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Zach Werenski On A Similar Path As Jack Johnson

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Zach Werenski met Jack Johnson several years ago on a recruiting trip to the University of Michigan. Details of that autumn afternoon were clear for one, a bit hazier for the other.  

Johnson was an established NHL defenseman hanging out at the Wolverines-Notre Dame football game with his younger brother, Kenny, also on an informal visit that day.

“Jack was someone I kind of looked up to growing up,” the 19-year-old Werenski said. “He went to the (USA Hockey National Team Development Program) and Michigan. It’s a similar path I went on.

“He probably doesn’t remember, but I remembered. I knew who he was.”

The two Michigan men were introduced as a pair to Blue Jackets fans on Thursday night in Nationwide Arena. How would a Wolverine tandem play in Columbus?

Quite well, actually.


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Zach Werenski Says He Is Happy At Michigan

from David Goricki of the Detroit News,

Michigan sophomore defenseman Zach Werenski made his presence felt this past weekend in helping the Wolverines to an impressive weekend sweep of rival Michigan State by a combined score of 15-5.

And, Werenski was fresh off playing in the World Junior Championships in Finland where he was team captain and voted as the top defenseman.

Werenski says he is happy at Michigan, talking after Friday’s rout of the Spartans, despite a Columbus Dispatch report speculating Werenski was unhappy in Ann Arbor and thinking of turning pro.

“I’m happy,” said Werenski, the No. 8 overall pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in last June’s NHL draft. “That was a terrible rumor, bad timing too, especially going on with the tournament. It’s not something you want to see. That’s why it’s a rumor and you have to push it off.

“I was kind of like, ‘What is this?’ when I read it. I just put it behind me. You see all that stuff. It pops up on your timeline. At that point, I just stopped looking at Twitter. I have bigger things to worry about than that.”


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