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Werenski looks back on "whirlwind summer"

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

It's been a crazy summer for Zach Werenski.

He completed his freshman season at the University of Michigan, was selected No. 8 overall by the Blue Jackets at the 2015 NHL Draft and headed straight to development camp in Columbus.

Last week, he participated in USA Hockey's national junior team evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., along with Blue Jackets prospects Ryan Collins, Sonny Milano and Paul Bittner. First round pick Gabriel Carlsson took part in Sweden's camp, also held in Lake Placid alongside Team USA and Finland.

Werenski also recently confirmed to that he will be returning to Michigan for his sophomore season.

Werenski caught up with to talk more about his exciting summer. Here's an excerpt:

Q. Take us back one month to the 2015 NHL Draft. Is it hard to believe sometimes it's only been one month since that day?

A. It's kind of crazy that it came and passed this quickly. Your focus the last couple of years is to get drafted high, with the main focus playing well on the team that you're on. In the back of your mind, you want to get drafted and have a good draft year. For that to be over now and to be a month past it is pretty unbelievable.

Q. What was that moment like when you heard your name called at the draft?

A. The one word that comes to mind when you hear your name called is relief. It's a pretty stressful couple of days when you're down there. You're really not sure what's going to happen. You put everything you worked for into one night. It's pretty exciting, nerve-wracking, you're anxious, but once you hear your name called it's a relief. After that you're with your family, you know where you're going, and you know who to talk to and what the future is going to be like. It's a relief, but it's also an exciting time.

Q. You head almost directly to rookie camp with Columbus, and I heard there was some craziness getting your equipment there -- your father had to fly to Michigan and drive it down.

A. I wasn't expecting to go straight to Columbus after the draft. I thought I'd have a couple days at home, but it's just the way it worked it out. I flew right to the city that drafted me so that was a cool experience. It was good to get there, get to the city and see the entire organization and the prospects in the organization. My dad got home from Florida on Sunday night then had to drive my bag to Columbus on Monday by 10 a.m. so I could skate, and I can't thank him enough for that. I can't explain how he's been as a father with hockey. He's always willing to do stuff like that and take time out of his day to drive me around, so thanks to him for that.

Read the full interview at

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