Every website does predictions, very few circle back to them at the end of the season unless they nailed it or want a laugh at how comically off they were. Who are we to go against such tradition?
While most focus on simple matters like who will win divisions (which we do pick later on) and what the final results will be, we felt it was better to ask some of the more pressing questions we had going into this season and what we’ll be watching for. So without any more delay let’s get into it.
Here are the four willing JetsNation team members to put their name on such bold predictions…
Art – Managing editor of JetsNation
Zee – Site contributor and known Colorado Avalanche sympathizer
Kyle – Site contributor and co-host of the JetsNation Podcast
Dylan – JetsNation’s Winnipeg ICE corespondent.
How many goals does Patrik Laine score this season?
Most of us are pretty hopeful that Laine gets back on track this season after a “disappointing” 30 goal campaign last year. Kyle is really hoping for the goal scoring to come through, but most of us will be happy if he gets back around that 40 goal mark.
Who will lead the Jets in points?
Art: Mark Scheifele
Zee: Blake Wheeler
Kyle: Blake Wheeler
Dylan: Mark Scheifele
Wheeler and Scheifele were one and two in team scoring last year and Wheeler has led the team in points the last two seasons. While it’s possible the captain makes it a third year in a row, if Scheifele gets put on a line with Laine, he could be racking up a ton of assists which might give him the team scoring title for the first time.
Jets player that will surprise the most?
Art: Neal Pionk
Zee: Gabe Bourque
Kyle: Andrew Copp
Dylan: Ville Heinola
Dylan would seem to have the inside track on this pick already as Heinola has been an amazing surprise during training camp. Zee goes with a known ex-Avalanche player, Kyle sides with a player that many Jets fans have been hoping to see given a bigger role on the offense. Art might just be hoping that Pionk makes the Trouba trade less painful.
Jets player who will see a decline in their play or be a disappointment?
Art: Jack Roslovic
Zee: Laurent Brossoit
Kyle: Mathieu Perreault
Dylan: The entire Jets defense besides Josh Morrissey
Kyle’s pick of Perreault seems like it would be a case of age with wear and tear catching up on the 31 year old. Zee senses that the surprise that was Brossoit last season comes back down to earth this year. Art doesn’t have high hopes that Roslovic will be able to make an impact on the club. Dylan is echoing the sentiments of a lot of Jets fans going into the season.
Over/Under: Connor Hellebuyck save percentage of .915
Hellebuyck’s career save percentage is .915 – it was a mark he passed two seasons ago (.924) but was under last season (.913) – and three of the four don’t expect Connor to get back over that mark this season. It’s worth keeping in mind that Helly’s .913 save percentage from last season was still slightly above the league average of .910.
Over/Under: Bryan Little 45.5 points
Bryan Little’s career average for points per season is 43, so maybe wondering if he’d get over 45 – a mark he hasn’t his since the 2016-17 season when he had 47 points – isn’t exactly fair, but it’s also a point total that should be expected of an NHL second line center. All of us don’t expect him to get it.
Over/Under: Laurent Brossoit 24.5 games started (He started in 19 last season that was cut short due to injury)
This question wasn’t so much about Brossoit who was a very pleasant surprise last season, but about Hellebuyck who has started over 60 games in each of the last two seasons. That we all picked over could be an indication of a few things. We feel Brossoit should still be a very reliable backup and will have either earned more starts to lessen the load for Hellebuyck, or Hellebuyck struggles, forcing the Jets’ hand.
Over/Under Kyle Connor 33.5 goals
Split the difference between his 31 goal rookie season and his 33 goal sophomore season and most of us feel like he might not hit a career high this time around which may in fact be the case if KC isn’t playing with 55 and 26 as much.
Will Josh Morrissey get 10 or more goals this season? (His career high is 7)
Art: Yes. He’ll finish with 12
Dylan: Under – 9
Josh Morrissey is set to see a lot more time on the Jets top power play unit and of course will get the most ice time on a nightly basis, so it’s hard to imagine him not hitting double digits in goal scoring, although Dylan thinks he just misses the mark.
Over/Under: Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele play almost exclusively together on the same for 80.5 games
Art: Under – I really feel like Maurice will be more open to switching lines around.
Zee: Over – I’d be surprised if this changed
Dylan: Over, of course. Paul Maurice is still the head coach.
Scheifele and Wheeler played all 82 games together primarily on the same line, Art and Kyle are hopeful that Maurice is more flexible and creative with his line decisions, but Zee and Dylan know better…
Does Paul Maurice last the entire season?
Zee: Yep. Will he last the following offseason? Maybe.
Dylan: He shouldn’t, but of course he will.
Unless there is an absolute disastrous start to the season – which most of us don’t believe their will be – we feel like for better or worse Paul Maurice will remain coach through the entire season. Zee does bring up a good point though, one way or another, if the Jets don’t have a deep Cup run this season, Maurice’s time could be up anyway.
Do the Jets make a trade for a “second line center” at this season’s Trade Deadline?
Zee: It’s a tradition at this point.
Kyle: No, Adam Lowry or Andrew Copp are promoted instead.
Dylan: No, they won’t be in the playoffs at that point.
We’re 50-50 on this with Art and Zee figuring that it’s a time honored tradition at this point. Kyle and Dylan don’t think a trade happens, but for much different reasons.
If a member of the Jets roster is traded away from the team this season, who will it be?
Art: Mathieu Perreault
Zee: Nik Ehlers
Kyle: Nathan Beaulieu
Dylan: If they trade Ehlers I will not follow this team anymore. Dmitri Kulikov (more hoping).
Perreault and Kulikov have No Movement Clauses so trading them could be tricky. Ehlers and Beaulieu do not, making them easier trade targets. (Don’t trade Nik Ehlers)
Who do you have winning each division?
Art: Tampa Bay in the Atlantic, Washington in the Metro, San Jose in the Pacific, and St. Louis in the Central.
Zee: Canes for Metro, Tampa for Atlantic, Vegas for Pacific and Nashville for Central.
Kyle: Tampa Bay, Carolina, Calgary, Jets obviously.
Dylan: Tampa Bay for Atlantic, Washington for Metro, Calgary for Pacific, St. Louis for Central
Only Tampa Bay is a unanimous pick here… Which funny enough they were also our unanimous pick to make it out of the first round last season. Don’t let us down this time Tampa.
Western Conference champion?
Art: Vegas Golden Knights
Zee: Colorado Avalanche
Kyle: Winnipeg Jets
Dylan: Vegas Golden Knights
Oh Kyle, we love the optimism.
Eastern Conference champion?
Art: Tampa Bay Lightning
Zee: Tampa Bay Lightning
Kyle: Boston Bruins
Dylan: Tampa Bay Lightning
Again Tampa, don’t let us down.
Biggest surprise team?
Art: Vancouver Canucks
Zee: Colorado Avalanche
Kyle: Carolina Hurricanes
Dylan: New Jersey Devils
Art: Dallas Stars
Zee: Toronto Maple Leafs
Kyle: Edmonton Oilers
Dylan: Pittsburgh Penguins
Most people that do point projections for the season have the Jets at 92 or 93 points, so setting the bar at 92.5, do the Jets go over or under that point total?
Art: Over (98 points)
Zee: Over (94 points)
Kyle: Over (100)
Dylan: Under. (88ish). It may be a tough season.
Worth noting that in some of those point projections, they still have the Jets making the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Last season 90 was enough to get into the playoffs in the west.
Where do the Jets finish in the Central and will they make the playoffs?
Art: Jets finish in third place in the Central just behind Nashville but ahead of Colorado by a point. Not only do they make the playoffs, they make it to the West final again before bowing out.
Zee: After a slow start, the Jets finally find their pace and have a fantastic start to the season, while they’re slightly held back by the slow start they manage to throw themselves into third place.
Kyle: Jets win the division. Everyone’s predicting something different in the Central, but I think the Jets will play really well without expectations this year.
Dylan: Jets miss the playoffs. Their defense is really bad. I can see them taking a major step back considering how the Central is really deep.