Blue Jackets sign Werenski to 6-year, $57.5M extension

Jamie Sabau / National Hockey League / Getty

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Zach Werenski to a six-year contract extension with an average annual value of $9.583 million, the team announced Thursday.

Werenski has made a huge impact in the five seasons he's been in Columbus. The 24-year-old is the Jackets' all-time leader in goals (65) by a blue-liner. Since his debut in 2016, he's tied for third among NHL defensemen in goals and 19th in points (189).

"The city of Columbus has been so good to me, it's close to home and my family, and as I thought about it, it was really a no-brainer," Werenski said. "I'm a Blue Jacket. I want to continue to be a Blue Jacket and do everything I can to bring a Stanley Cup here."

The Michigan native has one season left on a three-year contract that carries a cap hit of $5 million, meaning his new deal will kick in for the 2022-23 campaign.

The extension includes a full no-movement clause in the second through fifth seasons, and in the sixth year, it modifies to a 10-team trade list, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Werenski's 2020-21 season ended early due to a sports hernia, but he registered 20 points in 35 contests while playing an average of 24:22 per game.

The 6-foot-2 left-handed shot will be without his main defensive partner moving forward, as Seth Jones was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on July 23.

Werenski was drafted eighth overall by the Blue Jackets in 2015.

Blue Jackets sign Werenski to 6-year, $57.5M extension
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