The Columbus Blue Jackets are swapping out defenseman for the All-Star Game in Tampa.
Today the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that Zach Werenski will be going to the NHL All-Star Game in place of Seth Jones. Jones will miss the weekends activities due to illness. Werenski and Jones are arguably the best pair in the NHL this season.
This will be Werenski’s first All-Star Game in his second season in the NHL. Last year as a rookie he finished third in Calder Trophy voting and led all rookie defenseman in scoring, goals and assist.
This season Werenski is leading all NHL defenseman in goals. His 11 goals are good for second in the league behind P.K. Suban. He has more goals at even strength, nine, than anyone else has in the league.
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Werenski has the fourth best corsi in the league at 56.33% His 22 points have him on a pace for 40 points for back to back seasons to start his career.
Seth Jones will miss the All-Star festivities due to illness according to the team. Many players have come down with “illness” around the All-Star break in order to miss the weekend and spend the time resting.
This has led the NHL to suspending players for one game if they do not go to the All-Star break without missing a game before the break. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Seth Jones though. According to Aaron Portzline of the Athletic, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been told that Seth Jones won’t be forced to miss their game against Minnesota following the break.
Jones apparently became ill during the Arizona game but played through it. Upon arriving back in Columbus he became worse and made the decision to not travel to Tampa.
Before All-Star selections I thought it was conceivable that both Jones and Werenski went with Jones being the obvious favorite. It’s great to see that Werenski will be able to go and show off for the hockey world.