Central Division

1. Nashville Predators

They weren’t supposed to be contenders last year, but they’re now ahead of the curve.

2. St. Louis Blues

Stability in the crease will go towards whether they stay in the playoffs long term.

3. Chicago Blackhawks

The defending champs lost some key pieces, but you can’t count them out.

4. Dallas Stars

Some key acquisitions should mean a leap into the playoffs.

5. Minnesota Wild

Staying pat keeps them in contention in a tough division.

6. Colorado Avalanche

A draft day trade shook things up to put Colorado in a bounce back position.

7. Winnipeg Jets

Too many better teams for them to repeat last years success.

 

Nashville Predators

Head Coach: Peter Laviolette

Key Position: Goalie

Key Acquisitions: D Barret Jackman (St. Louis Blues)

 

St. Louis Blues

Head Coach: Ken Hitchcock

Key Position: Goalie

Key Acquisitions: F Troy Brouwer (Washington Capitals)

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Head Coach: Joel Quenneville

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: F Artem Anisimov (Columbus Blue Jackets), D Trevor Daley (Dallas Stars), F Marko Dano (Columbus Blue Jackets)

 

Dallas Stars

Head Coach: Lindy Ruff

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: F Patrick Sharp (Chicago Blackhawks), D Johnny Oduya (Chicago Blackhawks), G Antti Niemi (San Jose Sharks)

 

Minnesota Wild

Head Coach: Mike Yeo

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: G Devan Dubnyk (re-signed)

 

Colorado Avalanche

Head Coach: Patrick Roy

Key Position: Defensemen

Key Acquisitions: F Blake Comeau (Pittsburgh Penguins), F Mikhail Grigorenko (Buffalo Sabres), F Carl Soderberg (Boston Bruins), D Francois Beauchemin (Anaheim Ducks), D Nikita Zadorov (Buffalo Sabres)

 

Winnipeg Jets

Head Coach: Paul Maurice

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: F Alexander Burmistrov (KHL)

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