The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Zach Werenski to a six-year, $57.5 million contract extension, the team announced Thursday night.

Werenski, 24, has 65 goals and 124 assists for 189 points with 71 penalty minutes and a +13 plus/minus rating, while averaging 22:43 in time on ice in 335 career NHL games, all with Columbus. 

"Zach Werenski has been one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League over the past five years and we are thrilled that he will continue to be a Blue Jacket and the leader of our blueline for at least the next seven years," said GM Jarmo Kekalainen in a statement. "As talented as Zach is and as much as he has achieved so early in his career, he is an even better person and will be a foundational player for our club as we move forward."

Columbus' first pick, eighth overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft, Werenski tallied 20 points and 13 penalty minutes in 35 games, while ranking second on the club in time on ice (24:11 avg.) in 2020-21.

More to follow.