Blue Jackets' Zach Werenski out for season with shoulder injury

Columbus Blue Jackets' star defenseman Zach Werenski will miss the rest of 2022-23 season with a shoulder injury, the team announced Friday. (Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced star defenseman Zach Werenski will miss the rest of the regular season with a shoulder injury, the announced on Friday.

The Blue Jackets say that Werenski suffered a separated shoulder and a torn labrum in Thursday's 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nationwide Arena.

Werenski left the contest in the first period as he went for a hit on Flyers forward Travis Konecny. Werenski missed Konecny only to end up falling awkwardly into the boards. He went down the tunnel and the team announced he would not return. Vladislav Gavrikov replaced Werenski on the top pair alongside Nick Blankenburg for the rest of the contest, allowing Columbus to snap a five-game losing streak.

Werenski scored his third goal of the season and collected one assist in 6:03 of ice time before leaving the game.

The Blue Jackets are last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4-9. Columbus have called up defensemen Gavin Bayreuther, Marcus Bjork and David Jiricek to the roster on emergency recall from the Cleveland Monsters to replace Werenski and Blankenburg, who suffered a broken ankle in the contest and is set to miss six to eight weeks of action, according to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.

Werenski is coming off a career high in points in 2021-22, where he had 11 goals, 37 assists, and 48 points in 68 games in his first season as the leading defenseman on the Blue Jackets’ blue line following the departure of Seth Jones to the Chicago Blackhawks.

He was off to another great start this year, with three goals and eight points in 13 games. The 25-year-old has 79 goals and 166 assists in 416 career NHL games after being selected by Columbus with the eight overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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