Central Division

1. Nashville Predators

Their depth on defense is stacked, but they need more production from their forwards.

2. Winnipeg Jets

This team is built to win right now. They’ll have about 2-3 more seasons of being Cup contenders.

3. St. Louis Blues

They were the most active team in the offseason and that should get them back into the playoffs.

4. Minnesota Wild

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Bruce Boudreau led team will again make the playoffs against all the odds.

5. Colorado Avalanche

Their forward group will outscore a lot of teams, but will their goalie situation improve from last year?

6. Dallas Stars

A new coach and a new style, but it’s one that will mesh well with the star power they have.

7. Chicago Blackhawks

It will be a big learning curve for the youngsters coming in, but Chicago’s veterans will make it easier.

Head Coach: Peter Laviolette

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: D Dan Hamhuis (Dallas)

Head Coach: Paul Maurice

Key Position: Goaltender

Key Acquisitions: None

Head Coach: Mike Yeo

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: F Patrick Maroon (New Jersey), F Tyler Bozak (Toronto), F Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo), F David Perron (Vegas)

Head Coach: Bruce Boudreau

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: None

Head Coach: Jared Bednar

Key Position: Goaltender

Key Acquisitions: D Ian Cole (Columbus), G Philipp Grubauer (Washington)

Head Coach: Jim Montgomery (University of Denver)

Key Position: Defensemen

Key Acquisitions: F Valeri Nichushkin (KHL), G Anton Khudobin (Boston)

Head Coach: Joel Quenneville

Key Position: Goaltender

Key Acquisitions: G Cam Ward (Carolina), D Brandon Manning (Philadelphia), F Chris Kunitz (Tampa Bay)

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