The Winnipeg Jets open their NHL regular season with a trip to the Big Apple to play the New York Rangers. The Jets Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are expected to lead the top line for Winnipeg. Bryan Little is expected to be the No. 2 center for the Jets, but is questionable for the season opener with an injury.
The Jets lost three defensemen from last season and Dustin Byfuglien is out injured to start the season. Josh Morrissey will be the top defenseman to start the season. Mathieu Perreault will likely take Patrik Laine’s spot up front until the forward returns from an injury. However, the Jets will be successful this season as long as Mark Scheifele is the team leader in goals and points, while Blake Wheeler will be a close second in both.
New York had much success during the offseason with the signing of Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba and Kaapo Kakko. The Rangers now must add that talent to its stable of young players and bring an end to the rebuilding project. The season may not bring a berth in the playoffs, but expect the Rangers to surprise many and have a shot late in the season to grab one of the eight spots in the East.
Kakko is expected to be a high scoring forward during his rookie season and will catch the eye of many in the NHL, but another player to watch is Pavel Buchnevich, who last season scored 21 goals in 64 games. He will lineup this season on the Rangers top line alongside Panarin and Mika Zibanejad which means plenty of scoring opportunities await him.