Editorials

NHL Central Division: Team Defense Comparison For 2016-17

By Colin Likas
Jan 16, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) skates the puck across the blue line during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) skates the puck across the blue line during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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central division
Oct 23, 2015; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) fights with Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) during the second period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 6: Winnipeg Jets

The defense in the great white north has a chance to be more of a threat in the near future, but there are some guys who still need development. Basically, this is just a group that tries to bull you off the puck, but one that can be worked around by speedy and talented opposing forward corps.

This group is currently led by Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Stuart, two guys who are big bruisers but aren’t great at hanging on to the puck. Stuart also doesn’t score a whole lot or move real well. But the Jets love size on the back end, so these two aren’t going anywhere.

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Tyler Myers is also a behemoth but consistently underwhelming. Paul Postma and Ben Chiarot are kind of just there.

Further down the card offers promise. Tobias Enstrom is a solid puck possessor who contributes offensive, and who can actually move (he’s just 5-foot-10; tiny on this roster). Jacob Trouba will eventually get a new contract and provide a powerful shot from the back end. His defensive responsibility still needs some work, though.

Then you’ve got young, developing guys like Josh Morrissey. A first-round choice in 2013, he sounds like a far better, far younger version of Byfuglien. If the Jets continue to struggle and rack up early picks, then use them on guys like Morrissey, that would certainly be to their benefit.

Next: Number 5

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