In 2021-22, the Blue Jackets' special teams weren't special at all.
Their 18.6% power play conversion rate ranked 24th in the NHL and their 78.6% penalty killing rate ranked 20th.
How does that improve in 2022-23?
The addition of Johnny Gaudreau
This was the obvious answer, and it should be. His 25 power-play points contributed to the Flames' 10th-ranked unit last season. And even if that point total seems low, putting him on the ice at the same time as Patrik Laine with a man-advantage should lead to more goals.
A healthier Patrik Laine and Zach Werenski
The two offensive stars combined to miss 40 games last season. Hopefully, for the Jackets, they can both play all 82 games in 2022-23, not only because their being on the ice helps the team, but also to help build chemistry with Gaudreau.
The Jackets had the youngest roster in the league with an average age of 25.38, and depending on who hops on the ice, that experience could lead to more goals. We saw Nick Blankenburg score his first NHL goal on the power play last year, could more young players contribute? Do Cole Sillinger and Kent Johnson have bigger roles? What about Yegor Chinakov and Kirill Marchenko?
The three points I outlined above are pretty simple, but they still need to happen on the ice. And if all three occur, where does the power-play finish? Are the Jackets capable of having a top-10 power play or is their ceiling in the middle of the pack? Only time will tell.