We have another change to make to the Metropolitan Division All-Star team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Friday afternoon that defenseman Zach Werenski will replace Seth Jones on the roster.
Jones, according to the team, is dealing with an illness and will not make the trip to Tampa.
According to Aaron Portzline of the Athletic, the Blue Jackets have been informed by the NHL that Jones will not have to miss a regular season game and will be eligible to play when the team returns from the break on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Typically players that are chosen for the game that miss the festivities are forced to sit out at least one regular season game before or after the break but this is being viewed as a legitimate illness and not an excuse to skip out on the game.
Jones played more than 24 minutes on Thursday night in the Blue Jackets’ 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, recording an assist on an Alexander Wennberg power play goal early in the third period.
Werenski is a fitting replacement for Jones as both players are having equally outstanding seasons and are both long-term building blocks for the Blue Jackets’ defense.
In 45 games this season the 20-year-old Werenski has 11 goals and 11 assists and is a 56 percent possession player.
Jones has eight goals and 24 assists is a 55 percent possession player.
The two have spent much of the season playing alongside one another, and when they are on the ice together during 5-on-5 play the Blue Jackets are attempting more than 56 percent of the total shot attempts and have outscored their opponents by a 30-24 margin.
This is the second change to the Metropolitan Division All-Star team in the past 24 hours. On Thursday night the NHL announced that New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle will replace Taylor Hall.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.