Veteran leadership and youth can both take your team a long way, maybe in different directions, but having a good balance of youth and experience can be a key piece to winning a Stanley Cup.
The play at the NHL level is different from any other league in the world. The level of skill, speed, toughness, and size is unlike any other. It can take a while for players to adapt, learn, and fully reach the potential they have. That’s what makes veteran experience so vital to a team. The veterans are there as coaches on the ice, the players that know the game for how it is, the ones that can help lead your team on and off the ice with leadership as players and people.
The five oldest teams in the NHL right now list as:
- Pittsburgh Penguins – 29.7 years
- New Jersey Devils – 29.6 years
- New York Islanders – 28.6 years
- Philadelphia Flyers – 28.6 years
- Edmonton Oilers – 28.6 years
A team full of youth has to learn from their mistakes, and they have to do it quickly, as an individual and as a team. A youthful team isn’t always a bad thing, but when your stars are up and comers that haven’t fully matured yet, the run in the playoffs is going to be much more difficult than a team with a solid corps of veterans.
The five youngest teams in the NHL right now list as:
- Ottawa Senators – 26.1 years
- Columbus Blue Jackets – 26.4 years
- Toronto Maple Leafs – 26.5 years
- Colorado Avalanche – 26.5 years
- Los Angeles Kings – 26.5 years