Columbus, that's one way to make a splash late in the evening.
Just under a week after his longtime teammate Seth Jones was shipped out to Chicago, Zach Werenski has signed a six-year contract with an AAV of $9.853-million.
Werenski has been a proven offensive threat from the blueline throughout his career, recording 65 goals, including 20 in 2019-20. Werenski was still one of the Blue Jackets' best players in a year where the team just escaped finishing last, but he's always been a star for a team with few to show for.
Werenski is set to play the final year of his three-year, $5-million AAV deal he signed in 2019. The Blue Jackets buy into five of his UFA deals, lasting until he's 30.
Once the deal kicks in, Werenski will be the sixth-highest paid defenseman in the league for 2022-23 while holding the third-highest cap hit.