2015 NHL Draft: Blue Jackets Select Zach Werenski

(Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)
(Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have selected Zach Werenski from The University of Michigan with the eighth pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Werenski completed a successful freshman season at Michigan, scoring 18 points in 22 games as a 17-year old. Considering that he is amongst the youngest players in college hockey, this is an impressive feat.

Werenski does many things well. He is a smart, two-way defender who has elite mobility. He is a smooth skater who can handle the puck extremely well. He is known for playing a pressing offensive style. His first pass and outlet skills set him apart.

Werenski needs to work on his physical game. He’s not afraid of the physical game, he just needs to play this style more often. He weighed in at 211 pounds at the Combine, five pounds heavier than what his listed weight was.

Werenski already plays tough minutes. He played Top 4 minutes while contributing on special teams, especially the power play. His ability to create space in tight areas helped make Michigan’s power play dangerous. He does like to jump in the play a lot, and will have to use discretion at the next level. You can read more about Werenski here.

Werenski is exactly what the Blue Jackets are looking for. He will help bolster the defensive depth of the team. He’s about a year away from making an impact in the NHL. Expect him to play out his sophomore season at Michigan.

The Blue Jackets will have a busy Saturday, as they have nine picks remaining, including five combined in rounds two and three. They own the 34th, 38th, 58th, 68th, and 69th picks. They also will select at 129th, 141st, 159th, and 189th overall.