Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Winnipeg Jets 2018-19 season preview



             After exceeding expectations and learning that Connor Hellebuyck was an elite goalie, the Winnipeg Jets paraded all the way to the Conference finals, but were stopped by the Vegas Golden Knights. Now with an understanding of their team, the Jets have a chance for more. Let's look at some fast facts for them.

Head Coach: Paul Maurice
General Manager: Kevin Cheveldayoff
Arena: Bell MTS Place
AHL Affiliate: Manitoba Moose
2017-18 record: 52-20-10 (114 points)
2017-18 placement: 2nd
Division: Central
2017-18 goals leader: Patrik Laine (44)
2017-18 assists leader: Blake Wheeler (68)
2017-18 points leader: Blake Wheeler (91)
2017-18 points leader (defensemen): Dustin Byfuglien (45)
Captain: Blake Wheeler
Assistant Captains: Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Schiefele
2018 first round pick: None, selected David Gustafsson 60th overall

Offseason additions: Laurent Brossoit

Offseason subtractions: Paul Stastny, Joel Armia, Steve Mason, Toby Enstrom, Shawn Matthias, Matt Hendricks, Michael Hutchinson


Forwards: With Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and maybe even Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor capable of scoring 35 goals, this is a great offense. Mix Bryan Little, Adam Lowry and Mathieu Perreault in, and it is even better. Hopefully, Jack Roslovic can play in the bottom six. They can score a lot of goals.

Forward lines:

Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers - Bryan Little - Patrik Laine
Mathieu Perreault - Adam Lowry - Jack Roslovic
Brendan Lemieux - Andrew Copp - Brandon Tanev
Other: Marko Dano, Nic Petan

Defensemen: Rookie Sami Niku takes Toby Enstrom's spot, but everything else is the same. Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba are still really good. Josh Morrissey needs to prove that his contract was worthy. Tyler Myers needs to stay healthy.

Defensive pairs:

Josh Morrissey - Dustin Byfuglien
Sami Niku - Jacob Trouba
Dmitry Kulikov - Tyler Myers
Other: Ben Chiarot, Tucker Poolman, Joe Morrow

Goalies: Connor Hellebuyck played like a Vezina winner last year, and I think he could win it this year. Laurent Brossoit was brought in as a backup, but Eric Comrie will put up a strong case.

Goalie alignment:

Connor Hellebuyck
Laurent Brossoit
Other: Eric Comrie

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Patrik Laine
Mark Scheifele
Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor
Jacob Trouba

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 1st
I think the Winnipeg Jets will end up winning the Stanley Cup in 2018-19.

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