Winnipeg Jets Evolving Towards Playoff Contention Next Season

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the shortened 2013 NHL season didn’t go the way that the Winnipeg Jets would have wanted as they lost three of their last four games to miss the playoffs. The 2013-14 season will bring a lot of different things for the Jets, and a decrease in travel would be one of them. Winnipeg has to be very happy about their move back to the Western Conference and the fact that the divisions will be realigned geographically.

The Jets had been in the Eastern Conference ever since moving away from Atlanta, and they had to travel east a lot over the last two seasons which had to tire the team out. I think that is one of the reasons why the team collapsed in the final week of the regular season.  I’m not sure if the Jets can expect Andrew Ladd to put up another 46-point season, but I would love to see what players like Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane can do next year. Wheeler led the team with 19 goals while Kane had 17 goals and 16 assists.

Winnipeg has a lot of players who are entering their prime or are in it already going forward. I have to believe that the Jets will be a team to reckon with next season with the talent already on the roster. If they can improve on their league-worst power play, Winnipeg could be one of the top teams in their division. The years of hanging around the .500 mark may finally be over for the Jets with playoff success possibly on the horizon.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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