Winnipeg Jets – Record 35-39-8, 78 points. Out of playoffs
The Jets are one team that may be on an upward trend in the Central. They have some really good young talent both on their team and in their farm system. They are ranked as one of the best prospect pools in the NHL.
That being said, they have a lot of work to do with contracts. They have six restricted free agents and two unrestricted free agents this offseason. And after next season, they have five more players who are RFAs and six more players to become UFAs.
They are currently $19 million below the cap but that could go away in a hurry with all of those contracts. D-Man Jacob Trouba is supposedly on the trading block as they are worried they will be able to sign the RFA.
They do have two #1 Draft Picks this year, the second overall and also #22 from the Blackhawks from the Andrew Ladd trade. They are only a year out of the playoffs and have Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, and Dustin Byfuglien. If they can keep the youngsters playing together and keep improving they could be a force in a year or two.
Next: Colorado Avalanche