Winnipeg Jets: An Early Look at Where Expectations Are for Next Season

Anthony CapocciContributor IMay 2, 2012

WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 17: Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel adjusts his glasses while players Kyle Wellwood #13, Andrew Ladd #16, Evander Kane #9 and Eric Fehr #17 wait for their shift in a game against the Anaheim Ducks in NHL action at the MTS Centre on December 17, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

For the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about expectations and how the Winnipeg Jets surpassed them in this past season.

Now it’s time to take an early look ahead at where expectations will lie going into next season. It's only May, so obviously expectations are subject to change.

In 2012-13, the Jets will have much higher expectations. For starters, a top-ten draft pick will not suffice. It’s time the Jets stray away from any and all draft expectations.

The Jets are a franchise known for drafting high in the first round year in, year out. They’ll be drafting ninth overall in the upcoming 2012 NHL draft. When preseason rankings are released, the Jets are usually pegged to finish in the bottom ten.

But after taking an early look at things, the Jets aren’t going to be considered one of those bottom-ten teams next year. I expect most rankings to have the Jets competing for a lower-seed playoff spot.

Expectations will have grown and the Jets will be looked at as an on-the-bubble playoff team. In other words, they’ll be expected at least to compete for the playoffs.  

Playoffs may not be the expectation, not yet. But based off their prior season, the Jets will be expected to compete for them again.

All signs point to the Jets inching closer to the playoffs. They’re still young and have a while to go, but they’re headed in the right direction.

Expectations will be higher than last season, but not outrageous. If anyone expects a Stanley Cup run, you’ll be disappointed.

The Jets will be expected to compete for the playoffs. Whether or not they exceed expectations, as they did last season, will be up to how they compete on the ice.

We are months away from the start of next season. Obviously, there is still plenty of time for the Jets to make more improvements which could raise expectations.  

Regardless of what happens in the offseason, the expectations of the team will be much higher than last season, and the Jets are poised to exceed them...again.