Prediction #5: Major changes are made to the core of this team, this season…
The core of the Jackets remains pretty much intact after last season, so this one turned out to be completely wrong. In fact, the only real changes to the core of the roster came in trading second pairing defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov away; then replacing him in the offseason. Joonas Korpisalo was dealt in the same trade, but it felt like that decision was made years ago, when Elvis Merzlikins was extended to be this team’s starting goalie.
Adam Fantilli will be coming in next season as a major core piece of this team’s long-term plans … but again, that’s really not a major change to the existing core. In all, this prediction was made with the team making moves to bolster the lineup around Johnny Gaudreau, which didn’t really happen until the offseason. It was a poor prediction, in hindsight.
Overall, our predictions were bold. Maybe a little too bold, but that’s what made them fun to begin with. In the coming weeks, we’ll have some bold predictions for the 2023-24 season, which again will be wild and fun.
Stay tuned to unionandblue.com and our social media channels in the coming weeks – along with our upcoming bold predictions, we’ll preview every player vying for roster spots this coming season. We’ll highlight one player per day (we’ve lined up 27 total) leading up to training camp, offering expectations and where they might fit into the lineup.
To cap it off, we’ll have a comprehensive roster preview for the club, with some thoughts on how the team might be able to perform with Mike Babcock behind the bench. In short, I think next season for the Jackets could be really fun. This team should be in transition and looking to win some games; and with some of the Eastern Conference teams falling off a little bit, a playoff berth may be in the not so distant future.