Right now, I would absolutely love to wager. Jagr was incredible last season, no doubt. But he provided 80% of the Ranger offense. He did great because there were no expectations and no pressure---everyone assumed based on the roster--- that they would finish last and were underestimated by everyone.
When the pressure is on Jagr disappears and is easily frustrated (see playoffs) and feigns injury. He does his best when he plays with Straka, whom I believe they maynot re-sign. Lunqvist is the goalie flavor of the year, but lets see how they respond early this season, when the refs don't make the early season calls they did like last year. I don't see alot of GREAT talent in their young players aside from Prucha and maybe Staal.
Pittsburgh, Florida and maybe Atlanta (if they have a goalie for the full season) will take the Rangers and Tampa spot for the final playoff spot.
Even with Malkin, Pittsburgh has a long way to go - they will be a lot better off but they desperately need a defense. Florida isn't any better and probably won't be after free agency - for all the young players getting better, they should have older players getting worse. Atlanta should compete but they have salary cap issues and won't be as good up front. The team that really could decline are the Devils if they don't sign Elias, the Flyers if Carter and Richards start the season where they left off in the playoffs, and the Canadiens who really aren't that good and aren't that bad - if Huet comes back to Earth they're probably not a playoff team.
When the pressure is on Jagr, he often dominates. He got hurt and tried to come back unsucessfully. I expect him to be top 10 in the NHL in points once again. The Rangers will almost certainly resign Straka (Nylander is another issue altogether), since Straka and the Rangers are both smart enough to realize this guy stinks without Jagr and always has, or maybe we should find some Islanders fans to talk about him. You're right that they don't have any great young talent, but Tyutin should be better, as should Moore and Lundqvist. They should get Karel Rachunek back from Omsk or wherever he was hiding. Bottom line is that the Rangers actually have a team now - even if Jagr falls back into his Washington form, they could still make the playoffs.