The Columbus Blue Jacket’s 2015 first-round draft pick (eighth overall) Zach Werenski is expected to miss the first week of training camp due to a groin injury, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
The 6-foot-1, 19-year-old defenseman had an outstanding sophomore year with the Univeristy of Michigan before he decided to turn pro. After he signed his first pro contract, he won the Calder Cup with the Lake Erie Monsters (now the Cleveland Monsters). In 17 playoff games with the Monsters, Werenski put up five goals and 14 points.
Werenski’s injury stems from play at the 2016 Traverse City Prospects Tournament, which ended Monday with the Blue Jackets prospects taking third place in a 6-4 win over the prospects from the New York Rangers.
Columbus president of hockey operations John Davidson told the media Wednesday that Werenski would have competed in the final Traverse City game if it were the championship game, but that tests revealed that he would benefit from a more lengthy recovery time.
Portzline also noted that Paul Bittner (chest), Jordan Maletta (shoulder), Jacob Graves (knee) and Francis Beauvillier (head) are also nursing injuries. Goaltender Brad Thiessen of the Monsters is expected to miss a couple weeks with an ankle injury and defenseman John Ramage is dealing with a shoulder injury and will be out until late October.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.