SUNRISE, FLORIDA - The Columbus Blue Jackets selected University of Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski with the eighth overall selection and Linkoping Jr. defenseman Gabriel Carlsson with the 29th overall selection in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Blue Jackets acquired the 29th pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the 34th and 68th overall selections. The draft is being held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Werenski, 17, posted nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points with eight penalty minutes and a +9 plus/minus rating in 35 games with Michigan of the Big Ten in 2014-15. The youngest player in the NCAA last season, he led all Michigan defensemen and finished second among freshman NCAA Division I blueliners in scoring. He was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman and All-Big Ten Hockey First Teams.
The Grosse Pointe, Michigan native registered 7-20-27 with 42 penalty minutes in 47 games for the United States National Development Program in 2013-14. He also collected 1-1-2 in five games while representing Team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships and captured a gold at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
Carlsson, 18, recorded 0-7-7 with 14 penalty minutes and a +21 plus/minus rating in 39 games with Linkoping JR of the Swedish JR. League in 2014-15. He also notched 0-2-2 and a +3 plus/minus rating in seven games with Linkoping in Sweden’s top professional league.
A native of Orebro, Sweden, Carlsson has posted 9-23-32 with 20 penalty minutes and +41 plus/minus rating in 65 career games with Linkoping U18 and Orebro U18 in Sweden’s U18 League. He tallied 4-15-19 and 14 penalty minutes and +35 plus/minus rating in 40 games with Linkoping U18 in 2013-14. He also represented Sweden at 2015 Under-18 Five Nations tournament and skated for Sweden at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The 2015 NHL Draft continues Saturday, June 27 with Rounds 2-7 beginning at 10 a.m. For complete draft coverage, visit BlueJackets.com/Draft2015.