The Winnipeg Jets are absolutely stacked this season and in my opinion are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Top to bottom their forward group is unrivaled by any other team in the league. The defense are rock solid, especially on the right hand side. And in Goal they have Vezina nominee Connor Hellebuyck. Put all that together and you have a hell of a hockey team.
Winnipeg might not have an overwhelming star in their forward group but they are going to have lots of scoring from the top to the bottom of the lineup. Blake Wheeler had 91 points last season, Mark Scheifele had 60 points in 60 games, Patrik Laine had 70 points playing on the second line. On top of those three stars the Jets still have Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor and Bryan Little all taking up spots in the top 6. Those six players alone will be enough for the Jets to win most nights.
The third line is likely to feature Mathieu Perreault (who could see some time in the top 6) and two former first round picks Jack Roslovic and Kristian Vesalainen. Roslovic played 31 regular season games for the Jets last season and appears to be maturing into a solid NHLer. Vesalainen will be in his rookie season after a great season overseas. The third line will see weak competition this season and I expect them to surprise a lot of teams this year.
Andrew Copp, Brandon Tanev, Adam Lowry, Brendan Lemiuex and Marko Dano complete the forward group. Copp, Tanev and Lowry will all be major contributors to the Jets this season and I think they would be in the top 9 of most other franchises. Overall this forward group is rock solid and at first glance I have a hard time finding any weakness.
The defense group features the best right side in the league. Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba would all be in most teams top pairing but in Winnipeg there may never be a moment when one of them is not on the ice this season since all three play on the right hand side. No team in the league has a strong set of right side dmen.
The left side is clearly a step lower than the right but still has some solid players in Josh Morrissey, Ben Chiarot, Joe Morrow and Dmitry Kulikov. Morrissey is the best of the group, he's young and will likely be on the top pair for a long time in Winnipeg. He's the highlight of the left side that will be over shadowed by the overwhelming skill on the right.
In goal Connor Hellebuyck looks to build off of his Vezina nomination last season. A year ago the Jets had questions in goal and Hellebuyck erased all of them with his stellar performance. Assuming Hellebuyck continues his form from last season the Jets will have a rock on the back end capable off stealing any game for them next season.
Put all of this together and the Jets will be a contender this year and should be able to improve on last season where they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the conference finals. The Jets will be Canada's hope to bring the Stanley Cup home.