Winnipeg Jets 2022-23 Central Division Opponent Preview

Winnipeg Jets, Adam Lowry (17), Brenden Dillon (5); Minnesota Wild, Marcus Foligno (17), Jordan Greenway (18). Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets, Adam Lowry (17), Brenden Dillon (5); Minnesota Wild, Marcus Foligno (17), Jordan Greenway (18). Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports /
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Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets, Pierre-Luc Dubois (80). Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

Nashville Predators

Last Season Head to Head: Winnipeg Jets win season series 2-1

2021-22 Season

The Nashville Predators have made the playoffs in every season since 2014, and that remained the case for 2021-22. Finishing with a 45-30-7 record, the Predators qualified for the postseason in the second of two wild-card spots. The drawback of that was playing the powerhouse Avalanche in round one. The result of the series was lopsided, with Colorado sweeping the Preds 4-0.

The regular season highlighted a few strengths of the Predators, the first of which was in goal. Jusse Saros started 67 games for Nashville last season, winning 38 games and registering a .918 save percentage. Unfortunately for Nashville, Saros suffered a season-ending injury just before their playoff appearance, effectively sealing their fate.


The Predators didn’t do anything too dramatic in the offseason, but they did fortify their already strong defensive group. Ryan McDonagh was added from Tampa via trade, and will likely slot in nicely on the Preds’ second pairing. In a group that already features Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm, the group becomes deeper with the addition of the veteran McDonagh.

The crease is another area the Preds needed to address, and they attempted to do so by signing former Blackhawks’ goalie Kevin Lankinen. After losing backup David Rittich to the Jets in free agency, Lankinen will likely take at least some of the load off of Saros, which is needed if they look to make another playoff run.

Smaller adds helped to bolster some forward depth after the first line was forced to carry the load last season. Notably, the Preds signed long-time forward, Nino Niederreiter. Niederreiter has a strong track record of providing an offensive boost to teams in a middle-six role.

Projected Lines


Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Matt Duchene

Nino Niederreiter – Mikael Granlund – Eeli Tolvanen

Tanner Jeannot – Colton Sissons – Yakov Trenin

Zach Sanford – Cody Glass – Philip Tomasino


Roman Josi – Dante Fabbro

Ryan McDonagh – Mattias Ekholm

Jeremy Lauzon – Alexandre Carrier


Jusse Saros

Kevin Lankinen

Strengths and Weaknesses

The Predators have an embarrassment of riches on their blue line. It has been a strength of theirs for nearly a decade now, it seems, and it remains that way for yet another season. Couple that with the dominant goaltending and suddenly it becomes quite a task to score against them.

The weakness, like other teams in the central, lies in their forward core. The top line dominated last year, but the remainder of the forwards fell behind. After the point totals of Duchene (86), Forsberg (84), Granlund (64), and Johansen (63), the next forward is over 20 points behind. Depth scoring hurt their position in the standings, and it doesn’t look like enough has been done to battle that.