Winnipeg Jets Details
The Central Division’s Winnipeg Jets had a lot to be pleased with, despite finishing 5th in the division and missing out on the playoffs. Coach Paul Maurice and captain Blake Wheeler helped lead an inexperience club and improve on a 2015-16 campaign that saw it finish last in the division. The Jets finished last year with 87 points and 40 wins, but it was the 35 regulation losses that solidified an early end to the season. In front of a great MTS Centre crowd, Winnipeg found a way to be one of the top scoring teams in the league. A lot of that had to do with the offense from center Mark Scheifele and wingers Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. Scheifele led the team in total points with 82, as well as socring 32 goals. Captain Wheeler was wonderful as well, finishing with 26 goals and 48 assists. 18-year-old rookie Patrik Laine was the story of the season, however. The Jets first-round pick a year ago finished with 36 goals and 28 assists in 73 games.
Laine, who hails from Finland, is the long-term future for a Winnipeg team that has only made the playoffs once since the team returned in 2011-12. In that playoff appearance back in 2014-15, the Jets were swept by Anaheim so the Jets fans have yet to see a playoff win in the team’s current iteration. 2017-18 should be better for the Jets, as the team will be more experienced, and will return the three leading scorers. Winger Nikolaj Ehlers will be back as well. He finished last season with 25 goals and 39 assists, making him the team’s fourth leading scorer. There is no shortage of offense for Winnipeg and scoring will be necessary in the tough Central Division.