After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com takes a look at where each team stands before the 2022-23 regular season, which begins Oct. 7. Today, the Winnipeg Jets:
Season 2021-22: 39-32-11, sixth in the Central Division. did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs
David RittichG: The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal on July 13 after going 6-3-4 with a 3.57 goals-against average and .886 save percentage in 17 games (12 starts) for the Nashville Predators last season. … Rick Bones, Coach: The 67-year-old was hired on July 3 to replace Dave Lowry, who took over after Paul Maurice resigned on December 17. Bowness, who began his coaching career as an assistant with the Jets in 1984-85 before coaching them for 28 games in 1988-89, spent the last three seasons with the Dallas Stars before resigning on May 20. In those three seasons, he was 89-62-25 in 176 regular season games and 18-16 in 34 playoff games, including the first Stars to the Cup Final in 2020. Bowness is 212-351-28 with 48 ties in 639 regular season games in 12 seasons as coach with the Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Stars. He is also 26-23 in 49 postseason games.
Video: Rick Bones hired as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets
Eric ComrieG: Comrie signed a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabers on July 13. He was 10-5-1 with a 2.58 GAA, .920 save percentage and one shutout in 19 games (16 starts) last season. … Zach SanfordF: Sanford signed a one-year contract with the Predators on July 15. Had 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 80 games last season, including four assists in 18 games after being acquired from the Jets in a trade with the Senators on March 21… Paul Stastny, F: Stasny, who is currently an unrestricted free agent, had 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) in 71 games last season.
On the doorstep
Cole Perfetti, F: The 20-year-old, who was selected with the No. 10 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, had seven points (two goals, five assists) in 18 NHL games last season and 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 17 games with Manitoba of the American Hockey League. … Kristian Reichel, F: The 24-year-old had two points (one goal, one assist) in 13 games with the Jets last season. A free agent signing on June 15, 2020, Reichel also had 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 30 AHL games. … Morgan BaronF: The 23-year-old had five points (two goals, three assists) in 27 games last season, including four points (two goals, two assists) in 14 games with the Jets after being acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers for Andrew Copp on March 21.
What they need
With Stastny likely not returning, the Jets will need Perfetti or someone else to step into a top-six role. Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Blake WheelerPierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolai Ehlers.
They said it
“We have an exciting group of talented young players with the Jets, so now my focus immediately turns to what it will take to get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.” — coach Rick Bones
Ehlers’ potential would benefit greatly if Bowness gives the wing more time on the first power-play unit. Last season, the 26-year-old was sixth among Winnipeg forwards in power-play ice time per game (2:14), so he’s likely to break his career high in power-play points (13, twice) under a coach who maximized its output Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz with the Stars the last two seasons. Ehlers also averaged more than a point per game after returning from a knee injury last season (30 points in last 28 games) and is consistently tied for 19th in the NHL in points over the last three seasons (131 in 180 Games). — Pete Jensen
Kyle Connor — Mark Scheifele — Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers — Pierre-Luc Dubois — Cole Perfetti
Morgan Baron — Adam Lowry — Mason Appleton
Jansen Harkins — Dominic Toninato — Christian Reichel
Josh Morrissey — Dylan DeMello
Logan Stanley — Neil Pionk
Brenden Dillon — Nate Schmidt