The Winnipeg Jets had a breakout season in 2017-2018. They finished second in the NHL Central Division with a record of 52-20-10. Their 114 points was a 27-point improvement from the previous year. The Jets made it to the NHL Western Conference Finals for the first time in their franchise’s history. However, they were ousted in five games by the Vegas Golden Knights.
Subtractions: Paul Stastny-F (free agent) Steve Mason-G (traded to Montreal); Joel Armia-F (traded to Montreal); Chase De Leo-F (trade) Matt Hendricks-F (free agent) Michael Hutchinson-G (free agent).
In a move to create cap space, the Jets acquired 21-year-old Simon Bourque from Montreal for forward Joel Armia, goaltender Steve Mason, a seventh-round draft pick in 2019 and a fourth-round pick in 2020. Bourque has not played in the NHL and there are no guarantees that he will: http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nhl/5973/simon-bourque
On Sept. 4, Jets captain Blake Wheeler (featured photo) signed a five-year contract extension and starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck signed a six-year contract extension. Defenseman Jacob Trouba signed a one-year contract extension and forward Adam Lowry signed a three-year contract extension. Sharp-shooting forward Patrik Laine enters his third season at the ripe age of 20. He already has 80 career regular-season goals.
Mason Appleton, a sixth-round pick of the Jets in 2015, has a chance to contribute to the young and talented Jets squad. He was named AHL Rookie of the Year skating for the Manitoba Moose last year.
What to Expect
It’s hard not to be optimistic about the Jets. They are fairly young and extremely talented. They didn’t need to do a lot this off-season, but they re-signed five key players.
There is little reason to think the Jets cannot repeat their success of last year. It should be another fun spring in the city of Winnipeg, with the Jets making another deep playoff run.
Coming Monday: Dallas Stars Preview
Cover Photo Credit: Lisa Gansky
Paul Dier covers the Minnesota Wild and the NHL's Central Division for Full Press Coverage Sports. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulDier
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