Jan 4: After initially being positive on a rapid test yesterday, Zach Werenski has now been officially placed in the COVID protocol after his case was confirmed. The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman will be unavailable to the team for the next few days at least.
The team has also added Jean-Francois Berube and Cam Johnson to the taxi squad, as Elvis Merzlikins and Daniil Tarasov are both dealing with lower-body injuries. Johnson comes all the way from the ECHL, where he has spent the last several seasons.
Losing Werenski is arguably the worst thing that could happen for the Blue Jackets, given how much responsibility he carries on a nightly basis. The 24-year-old defenseman is averaging 26:34 in ice time this season, four minutes more than the next highest Columbus player. He also happens to be third on the team in scoring with 20 points through 30 games.
The Blue Jackets are in action tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, before a home-and-home with the New Jersey Devils this weekend.