Pittsburgh Penguins: Eight Players to Watch in the Metropolitan Division

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11: Jake Guentzel
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11: Jake Guentzel /
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COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 16: Zach Werenski
COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 16: Zach Werenski /

4) Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets

In his first year with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the rookie defenseman scored 47 points in 78 games and was a major factor in the Blue Jackets surprising 100+ point season. Prior to taking a (now infamous) puck to the face from a Phil Kessel shot in Game 3 of the first round series with the Penguins, Werenski was one of the most noticeable players on the ice for either team.

With a very young, but talented defense group in Columbus that includes Seth Jones, Werenski has the opportunity to continue to develop as one of the most impactful young defenseman in the game. After earning a Calder nomination in his first year, Werenski will be one of the more interesting players to watch, as the Blue Jackets have added some speed and skill upfront, without much else changing. If the Blue Jackets excel this season as one of the more offensive clubs in the league, you can expect Werenski to be a driving factor behind it.