#5: Winnipeg Jets
(Dyland Demelo, Josh Morrissey, Brenden Dillon, Neal Pionk, Logan Stanley, Nate Schmidt)
Many project the Winnipeg Jets to take a step backward in 2022-23, and their defensive core isn’t going to wow you by any stretch of the imagination. However, they do have some veterans who can right the ship somewhat.
Seven-year veteran Dylan Demelo leads this modest group of defensemen that has a new defensive-minded head coach in Rick Bowness. An old school coach if you will that’s going to preach a disciplined defensive culture.
Demelo is a little underrated around the league because he doesn’t pile up the points, but he has decent qualities as a pure defensive player.
Another quality veteran you can’t overlook is Nate Schmidt. Going into his 10th NHL season, he just put up his second-highest season point total with 32 points. He’s a strong leader even if he’s not at the top of the depth chart.
Josh Morrissey isn’t well known outside of Jets circles, but the guy is another quality player for this team. Hits hard (150 hits last season) and put up a career high in points with 37.
Collectively it’s a unit that is middle of the road, but certainly has some promise. Just not loaded with much superstar talent.
There is a lot of competition with this group coming out of training camp, as noted by Ken Wiebe in his Jets wrap up on Sportsnet.