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Blue Jackets' Werenski exits vs. Devils with lower-body injury

Zach Werenski - Getty Images Zach Werenski - Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Zach Werenski will not return to tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils due to a lower-body injury suffered in the second period. 

Werenski suffered the injury when he got tangled up with Devils forward Ondrej Palat during the second period. He had trouble getting up off the ice and struggled to put weight on his leg, needing help from his teammates and trainer to get off the ice before departing for the locker room. 

The 26-year-old has a significant injury history. He missed all but 13 games last season after suffering a torn labrum and separated shoulder that required surgery last November. During the off-season in 2018, he also had shoulder surgery. In April 2021, he was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a sports hernia. Werenski missed a pair of games earlier this season due to a knee injury. 

In 33 appearances this season, Werenski has one goal and 24 assists.

He is in the second season of a six-year, $57.5 million contract with an average annual value of $9.5 million. 

Drafted eighth overall by the Blue Jackets at the 2015 NHL Draft, he is a two-time NHL All-Star and won a Calder Cup in the AHL in 2016.