Alexander Wennberg
Alexander Wennberg
24-Year-Old CenterC
Columbus Blue Jackets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
While a lot went right for Columbus last season, Wennberg's continued regression was a troubling development. While he mostly stayed healthy, the 24-year-old was a frequent visitor to John Tortorella's doghouse due to his uninspired play, and Wennberg's 25 points were his lowest total since his rookie season. The Blue Jackets could certainly use a center with his potential skill set, as the roster features multiple wingers who could use someone with a plus hockey IQ and crisp passes to feed them the puck in the right spot, but his tendency to fade away from the play makes him tough to trust. He's got the talent to break out if things start to click, and given the club's offseason defections, Wennberg will be given every chance to reestablish himself. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $29.4 million contract with the Blue Jackets in September of 2017.
Provides helper
CColumbus Blue Jackets
March 24, 2019
Wennberg served up an assist and four shots in Sunday's 5-0 win over the Canucks.
Wennberg snapped a 16-game point drought with the helper, a stretch interrupted by a spell in the press box. He's had a down year with 24 points in 70 appearances, the worst total since he recorded 20 points in his rookie season of 2014-15.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The slender Swede battled back from upper-body injuries last season, and while he showed a knack for quick recoveries, his production took a steep drop. Wennberg in particular was hit hard by the struggles of the Blue Jackets' power-play unit, managing only five points with the man advantage after racking up 23 the season before. The 23-year-old is never going to be a prolific goal scorer due to his reluctance to shoot, but he's got the slick passing skills, vision and hockey IQ to be a reliable No. 2 center, assuming at some point the team can add or develop a true No. 1 to slot in ahead of him. Until then, Wennberg may find himself occasionally miscast in a lead role, but his strong two-way play -- he posted a career-best plus-22 rating last season -- will keep him in a prominent spot even when he's not generating points.
Jarmo Kekalainen’s first ever draft pick back in 2013 as the new GM of the Blue Jackets, Wennberg took a big step forward in his development in 2016-17, staying healthy and playing a career-high 80 games while improving his production across the board. The young Swedish center remains a pass-first player in the offensive end, taking only 109 shots on the season, but his vision and hockey IQ make his linemates better. The coaching staff will continue to press him to be more aggressive in looking for his own shot rather than giving up the puck, as good things tend to happen when he keeps it, but the Jackets have more than enough talent around him on the wings to take advantage of his willingness to facilitate.
Wennberg showed some growth in his sophomore campaign, doubling his goal and point totals while improving his plus-minus and generally looking a lot readier for the rigors of the NHL. The 21-year-old will be asked to make another leap forward in 2016-17, however, as the Jackets’ lack of depth up the middle has him penciled in as the second-line center to begin the season. That role would provide him with a much-improved supporting cast, likely including Brandon Saad, but while the young pivot’s already demonstrated that he can handle himself in his own end, Wennberg hasn't yet proven he's ready for that level of responsibility on offense. Assuming he uses this offseason to get stronger and avoid the various injuries that cost him 13 games last year, though, the Swede’s outstanding vision, passing and hockey IQ could allow him to challenge the 50-assist mark thanks to the snipers riding shotgun for him.
Last year's 14th overall pick has the skill and hockey IQ to excel in just about any role on an NHL roster, and the 19-year-old Wennberg will get a legitimate chance to earn a spot on the Columbus roster in training camp. His fantasy ceiling might be limited at the outset, but down the road, he could comfortably settle in on a second or third line and be the kind of player who contributes at both ends of the ice.
The 14th overall pick in this year's draft, Wennberg has the skill, smarts and drive to make an impact in every zone on the ice once he transitions over to North America. He's still a couple of years away from the NHL, but he should adapt quickly to the pro game and become a fixture in the Blue Jackets' lineup.
More Fantasy News
Stuck in press box
CColumbus Blue Jackets
February 26, 2019
Wennberg wasn't traded by Monday's deadline, but he'll be a healthy scratch for Tuesday's clash with the Penguins, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
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Held out again
CColumbus Blue Jackets
Coach's Decision
February 23, 2019
Wennberg will sit out for a second straight game Saturday against the Sharks. This is based on Jeff Svoboda of Jackets Insider's report that there will be no other lineup changes for Columbus from the previous game, aside from goalie Sergei Bobrovksy getting the home start.
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Healthy scratch Friday
CColumbus Blue Jackets
February 22, 2019
Wennberg will be a healthy scratch for Friday's game against the Senators, Tom Reed of The Athletic reports.
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Multi-point effort in win
CColumbus Blue Jackets
February 6, 2019
Wennberg scored a power-play goal and an even-strength assist in Tuesday's win over Colorado.
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Busts out of slump
CColumbus Blue Jackets
February 1, 2019
Wennberg earned an assist over 19:38 of ice time in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Jets.
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