COLUMBUS, OHIO - Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has been added to the Metropolitan Division roster for the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game® at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, January 28, the League and club announced today. He replaces teammate Seth Jones who will miss the weekend's festivities due to illness.
Werenski, 20, has recorded 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points with 12 penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating in 45 games this season. He leads Jackets defensemen in goals and ranks second in points. His 11 goals are second among NHL defensemen (12, Nashville's P.K. Subban) and one shy from tying the franchise single season record for goals by a blueliner (Bryan Berard, 2005-06; Seth Jones, 2016-17). The native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan will be making his NHL All-Star Game debut.
The Blue Jackets' first first round pick, eighth overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft, Werenski has registered 22-47-69 with 26 penalty minutes and a +19 plus/minus rating in 123 career NHL games. He finished third in Calder Trophy voting and earned All-Rookie Team honors in 2016-17 after leading league rookie defensemen in goals, assists and points and rookie skaters in plus/minus and power play assists (17) and finishing third in assists with 11-36-47, 14 penalty minutes and a +17 plus/minus rating in 78 contests. He set the Blue Jackets rookie record for assists and points and recorded the second-most points by a defenseman in a single season in club history while tallying the sixth-most points by a teenage defenseman in his rookie season in NHL history.
Previous Blue Jackets selected to participate in the NHL All-Star Game include: Jones (2017, 2018), right wing Cam Atkinson (2017), goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (2015, missed game due to injury; 2017), left wing Brandon Saad (2016), right wing Nick Foligno (2015, team captain), center Ryan Johansen (2015, voted game's Most Valuable Player), left wing Rick Nash (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), left wing Ray Whitney (2003) and center Espen Knutsen (2002).
The All-Stars will take part in a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, and featuring four teams representing each NHL division. Each division's roster consists of nine skaters and two goalies. The Atlantic Division will face the Metropolitan Division in one semifinal and the Central Division will face the Pacific Division in the other semifinal. The winners play in the championship game. Games will be 20 minutes in length and will be decided by a shootout if tied after the 20 minutes.
Live television coverage of the League's midseason showcase includes the 2018 NHL All-Star Skills Competition, which will be broadcast live by NBCSN in the U.S. on Saturday, January 27 at 7 p.m. ET. The 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game® will be televised live on NBC in the U.S. at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 28.