Nikolaj Ehlers seems primed to reach new heights in his seventh full season with the Winnipeg Jets
Nikolaj Ehlers remains one of the Winnipeg Jets’ best players, but can he take it further? In the 2022-23 preseason, he is showing that he may have found another gear.
Following his strong preseason performance, Nikolaj Ehlers seems primed to reach new heights in his seventh full season with the Winnipeg Jets. This isn’t to say that he isn’t among the Jets’ elites, but he hasn’t necessarily been able to fully take that next step.
In the 2021-22 season with the Winnipeg Jets, Ehlers registered 55 points in 62 games. Despite finishing fifth in team scoring, his season was often punctuated by questions about his deployment. As a new season approaches, those questions could be answered by a new coaching staff.
Here are three reasons why Ehlers will have a big year for the Jets:
First Line Minutes
In the past several seasons, Ehlers has found himself stapled to the second line. If the 2022-23 preseason is any indication, it appears that trend is now over.
On a line with Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele, Ehlers has recorded five points in his three preseason games. Points aside, he looks as crafty and fast as ever. One of his main strengths over his NHL career has been his ability to carve through the neutral zone, attacking the opposing team’s blue line. This creates a higher possibility of time in the attacking zone, which can benefit both him and his linemates.
Ehlers has deserved a shot as a top-line winger for the past several years. After finding himself behind Blake Wheeler for multiple seasons, it appears it’s finally time for them to switch places.