What's a Young Team?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of talk surrounding the Leafs' poor performance last season has come with the explanation that "they're a young team. Lots of room to grow and develop." What I wanted to know is, is that true? Are the Leafs a young team relatively speaking?

What I did was take stats for all 30 NHL teams last year based on their players' ages and games played and multiple the two together. I then found the average age per man game played and ranked the teams.

Team Avg. Age Avg. Age Rank Man Games Sum Age Sum Age Avg. Sum Age Rank
NYI 26.2 9 1563 40393 25.84 1
CBJ 26.3 10 1566 40679 25.98 2
WPG 25.5 1 1564 40956 26.19 3
BUF 25.6 3 1561 41179 26.38 4
EDM 26.7 13 1565 41207 26.33 5
OTT 26.1 7 1567 41391 26.41 6
TOR 26.1 6 1569 41508 26.46 7
CGY 25.6 2 1565 41696 26.64 8
COL 26.9 16 1563 41778 26.73 9
WSH 26.1 5 1566 41920 26.77 10
NSH 26.2 8 1568 41967 26.76 11
TBL 26 4 1564 42213 26.99 12
CAR 27 17 1563 42257 27.04 13
NYR 27.4 22 1562 42360 27.12 14
LAK 26.9 15 1563 42549 27.22 15
MIN 27.2 18 1566 42600 27.2 16
STL 27.5 24 1566 42656 27.24 17
CHI 26.8 14 1565 42670 27.27 18
ANA 27.2 20 1562 43035 27.55 19
PHI 27.7 27 1566 43233 27.61 20
BOS 26.6 11 1562 43323 27.74 21
VAN 26.6 12 1564 43514 27.82 22
FLA 27.7 26 1565 43742 27.95 23
DAL 27.9 28 1565 43958 28.09 24
MTL 27.4 23 1562 44095 28.23 25
PIT 27.6 25 1560 44208 28.34 26
SJS 28.1 29 1564 44296 28.32 27
DET 27.3 21 1562 44378 28.41 28
PHX 27.2 19 1564 44801 28.65 29
NJD 28.8 30 1560 46541 29.83 30

So how young are the Leafs really? Far from "the youngest team in the NHL" they are portrayed to be. So too is LAK, another supposed young team. The youngest team in the NHL last season? The New York Islanders at an average age of 25.84 years old per man game played. The Leafs came in 7th with an average age of 26.46 per man game. One thing to note, there were only 2 playoff teams in the bottom 10, likely due to AHL kids getting the call up once the season was a bust, or in Colorado's case, being real shitty for awhile and drafting top end talent.

Links

Do the Maple Leafs Understand Player Development?

No.

The Schedule is Out

Whoop dee do.

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