Full disclosure that this is being written without knowing what’s going to happen with Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine’s contract negotiations. Both are not locks to be re-signed by the Jets at this point. Until then, it’s all speculation and we’re going to go with what the Jets for sure have for their opening night roster.
The gap between Minnesota’s top line and the rest of the division is still staggering. It gets a lot more challenging to rank these after that, but I’m going with Winnipeg next. I’m not impressed at all with their offseason. They haven’t gotten any better after losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St.Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.
However, the Jets still have Blake Wheeler, who is a superstar in his own right. He now has back-to-back 90-plus point seasons, and I don’t see him slowing down much. He put up 71 assists last season and now has seven-straight All Star selections. He’s the engine that carries the Jets, but how much can one man do?
The Jets do have a couple nice pieces around him on the top line. Scheifele has been steadily climbing the NHL ranks for a few years now. He’s looking to build off of an 84-point season, which is a career high. He’s a quality top-line center.
Then you have the 23-year-old Ehlers, who has four NHL seasons under his belt. He’s only moving to the top line if Connor doesn’t re-sign, which would be disastrous for Jets fans. Can’t put the Jets higher than sixth in the division until the Connor negotiations get worked out.