Friday, June 20, 2008


The median age at which the 80 defensemen currently in the NHL who were first round picks played at least half of their team's games: 20.5 years. The median for 85 centers picked in the first round: 20 years. Forty-three or 51% of the centers had played at least 41 games by age 19: by contrast,twenty-two or 28% of the defensemen had achieved this by the age of 19.It's a difference but not that significant when you consider that forwards can break in by playing 4th and 3rd line minutes (think Bryan Little, Martin Hanzal) and top flight defensemen rarely do that.
Measuring the quality defensive play is difficult statistically but I looked at offensive contributions and found that of the 38 defensemen who were picked on the first round and who showed offensive promise, the median age at which they first achieved their career average PPG was 22 years.

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