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Nikolaj Ehlers anticipates offseason changes after disappointing season

Nikolaj Ehlers anticipates offseason changes after disappointing season

Over the last few seasons, the Winnipeg Jets have battled mediocrity, and this season was nothing different. The Jets finished with 95 total points and clinched the second wild-card spot for their division, before ultimately losing in five games to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs. Now, forward Nikolaj Ehlers anticipates many offseason changes for the Jets.

“I can’t tell you what’s going to happen or what needs to happen, but I’m guessing that something is going to happen, yes,” Ehlers said, via NHL.com.

The Jets had a roller coaster season this year, with their poor play nearly pushed the team out of the playoffs. At one point, Winnipeg led the Central division and looked like one of the NHL’s hottest teams, but in usual Jets fashion, they eventually crashed and burned.

“I think throughout parts of this season, you saw that we’re right there,” Ehlers said. “We had a really good stretch, and then we couldn’t keep putting that together.

“You try to find answers to these questions every single year when you don’t win the Cup, because that’s everyone’s goal every year. When you don’t make it, it feels like failure, and then everyone asks what went wrong and you’re standing back and you’re not sure what to say.”

Winnipeg finished their season on a low note, with a 15-17-2 record in its final stretch of games.

“We had a great start,” Ehlers said. “We were close to first in the division in February or January, and then we were fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the regular season. But then you look at Boston, who was the best team in the league for 82 games, and they’re out after the first round as well. That’s hockey. That’s what makes the NHL so fun and what makes the playoffs so fun is that it doesn’t matter if you’re first or eighth … you’ve still got a chance to win.

“I can’t tell you what went wrong. It’s just part of the playoffs. We would still like to be playing right now but we just weren’t good enough. Vegas beat us, and they should’ve.”

Ehlers finished his 2022-23 campaign with 12 goals and 26 assists in only 45 games. As the Jets move onto next season, changes will have to be made or they will be stuck in a state of mediocrity once again.

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