Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has been added to the United States roster for the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship tournament, the club and USA Hockey announced today.
Werenski is the seventh member of the Blue Jackets organization competing in the tournament, joining center Alexander Wennberg (Sweden), defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (Russia), goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (Latvia), center/left wing Alexandre Texier (France), center Pierre-Luc Dubois, and goaltender Veini Vehvilainen (Finland).
This year's tournament is being held in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia from May 10-26.
Werenski, 21, tallied 11-33-44 and 18 penalty minutes in 82 games with the Blue Jackets this season, leading club blueliners in goals and ranking second in assists, points and average time on ice with a career-high 22:54. He has scored 11 or more goals in each of his three NHL seasons and has topped the 40-point mark on two occasions. He set a career high and tied teammate Seth Jones for the franchise record for goals by a defenseman with 16-21-37 in 77 outings in 2017-18. He was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 2016-17 after notching a career-high 11-36-47 in 78 games.
The Grosse Pointe, Michigan native is making his IIHF World Championship debut this year, but has represented Team USA at several international tournaments. He captained the United States team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a bronze medal and being named the tournament's Best Defenseman after collecting 2-7-9 in seven games. He tallied 1-1-2 in five games at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships and played for the U.S. National Development Program's U-17 and U-18 teams in 2013-14.
More information on the 2019 IIHF World Championships can be obtained by visiting https://www.iihf.com/en/events/2019/wm.