In this first year of realignment, no team benefits more than Winnipeg. The former Atlanta Thrashers were stuck in the Southeast Division, even though Winnipeg isn't even in the southeast of Canada. Now, they are in the West, alongside teams like Minnesota, Chicago and... Dallas. Well, it's not all perfect. Despite their geographical disadvantage, the Jets actually finished ninth in the East, albeit with a minus-16 goal differential. Winnipeg is glad to have a team, but they'd probably like to have a good team, you know?
This team may not have big names, but they have good players. Andrew Ladd is a solid player. He had 46 points last season. Blake Wheeler is quite good, and I like Evander Kane's offensive potential as well. Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom are a top notch top defensive pair. The Jets have added a couple good players, or players that have been good, in Michael Frolik and Devin Setoguchi. Maybe they strike gold on one of those dudes. If nothing else, Frolik is a good defensive forward. I've heard good things about prospect Mark Scheifele too.
On defense, Zach Bogosian just got paid on potential, but he is still only 23. He's just been around forever. Jacob Trouba is supposedly a very good prospect as well. He could provide some defensive depth, which would help. The issue is that goaltending is still very much a question mark. Ondrej Pavelec has been around for a while now, and I feel safe in saying he isn't good. His career save percentage is a .907. He was at .905 last year. He's 26 now. He's been around. I can't see this team taking the next step until they replace Pavelec.
Since they haven't done that yet, I don't see this team making the playoffs. The travel will be better, but the division is harder. The Jets have some talent and some pieces in place, but they don't have enough firepower to overcome their goaltending.