National Hockey League

Central Division Preview: Winnipeg Jets

nhl7WINNIPEG JETS: TEAM LOOK-AHEAD
The Jets will look to clinch their third consecutive postseason berth – and fifth in franchise history – when they hit the ice for the 2019-20 season. Winnipeg (47-30-5, 99 points) has surpassed 90 standings points in each of the last two seasons (114 in 2017-18) – the franchise has never done so for three straight campaigns.

Driven by a potent offense led by Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele, the Jets have combined for 549 goals over the last two seasons (including shootout-deciding goals) – only the Lightning (621) and Maple Leafs (563) have more over that span.

OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK
* Blake Wheeler (20-71—91 in 82 GP) became the first player in Jets/Thrashers franchise history to record consecutive seasons with at least 60 assists. Since 1999-00, only five NHL players have strung together three or more consecutive 60-assist campaigns: Connor McDavid (3; 2016-17—2018-19), Henrik Sedin (6; 2006-07—2011-12), Joe Thornton (5; 2005-06—2009-10), Marc Savard (4; 2005-06—2008-09) and Pavel Datsyuk (3; 2006-07—2008-09).

* Wheeler, who has hit the 90-point mark in each of the last two seasons, can become the first player to record three 90-point campaigns with the franchise. The only others with multiple (both w/ ATL): Ilya Kovalchuk (2005-06 & 2008-09) and Marian Hossa (2005-06 & 2006-07).

* Mark Scheifele has topped the 20-goal mark in each of the last four seasons including a career-high 38 in 2018-19. Only two players in franchise history have recorded five consecutive 20-goal campaigns: Kovalchuk (8; 2001-02—2009-10) and Wheeler’s active six-season stretch (2013-14—2018-19).

THE FUTURE IS NOW
* Patrik Laine, 21, has reached the 30-goal mark in each of his first three NHL seasons, a feat also accomplished by fellow 2016 draftee Auston Matthews. Only 21 players in history have opened their NHL career with four or more consecutive 30-goal campaigns, with Jari Kurri (10; 1980-81—1989-90) the only Finnish player on that list.

* Kyle Connor, 22, who is entering his fourth season in the League after debuting in 2016-17, also has notched consecutive 30-goal campaigns. Entering 2019-20, only five U.S.-born skaters have reached the 30-goal plateau three times in their first four career seasons: Bobby Carpenter, Jimmy Carson, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan and Matthews.

BETWEEN THE PIPES
* Connor Hellebuyck backstopped the Jets to 34 wins in 2018-19 after a breakout 44-win campaign in 2017-18. He is the only goaltender in Jets/Thrashers franchise history to post consecutive 30-win campaigns. With a 35-win season in 2019-20, Hellebuyck (117) would match Ondrej Pavelec (152) for the most career wins by a goaltender in franchise history.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
A look at how players have fared historically in their debut game/season with the franchise:

First game with Jets/Thrashers. . .
SKATERS
Most goals: 2 – Mark Recchi (Dec. 12, 2007) and Michael Frolik (Oct. 1, 2013)
Most assists: 2 – Stephen Guolla (March 2, 2000)
Most points: 2 – seven players; most recent: Paul Stastny (Feb. 27, 2018)

DEFENSEMEN
Most goals: 1 – four players; most recent: Sami Niku (April 3, 2018)
Most assists: 1 – nine players; most recent: Cameron Schilling (Nov. 29, 2018)
Most points: 2 – Ron Hainsey (Oct. 10, 2008) and Jacob Trouba (Oct. 1, 2013)

GOALTENDERS
Most saves: 42 – Laurent Brossoit (Oct. 14, 2018)
Shutout: none

First season with Jets/Thrashers. . .
SKATERS
Most goals: 39 – Marian Hossa (2005-06)
Most assists: 53 – Marian Hossa (2005-06)
Most points: 92 – Marian Hossa (2005-06)

DEFENSEMEN
Most goals: 20 – Dustin Byfuglien (2010-11)
Most assists: 33 – three players; most recent: Dustin Byfuglien (2010-11)
Most points: 53 – Dustin Byfuglien (2010-11)

GOALTENDERS
Most wins: 13 – three goaltenders; most recent: Laurent Brossoit (2018-19)
Most Shutouts: 2 – Connor Hellebuyck (2015-16) and Milan Hnilicka (2000-01)

— NHL Public Relations

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