Per the informal polls on Twitter…
If you had to guess the difference in average age for the Hurricanes blue line versus the Checkers blue line, what would you guess for the difference in age?
Same question for the forwards.
I think most would assume that the AHL players were much younger, as it is where young prospects are developing. And NHL teams obviously have more veterans.
But surprisingly, the age difference of the Hurricanes NHL roster versus its AHL roster is fairly small. The gap becomes even smaller if you take out the few oldest outliers for each.
The blue line
Based on Saturday’s lineup, the Hurricanes blue line averages 26 years old versus 22.8 years old for Charlotte. If Brett Pesce steps in for Michal Jordan on Saturday, the gap will decrease by another year.
If you take only the youngest two-thirds of each group, both have the same average age of 22 years old. But if the Hurricanes swap in Brett Pesce for Michal Jordan, the youngest 4 defensemen (Faulk 23, Murphy 22, Pesce 20, Hanifin) average a stunning 20.8 years old and are actually younger than the AHL group (Biega 24, Lowe 22, Slavin 21, Carrick 21).
Things are not quite as striking at forward, but there is a similar story. The average age of the Hurricanes 12 forwards from Saturday was 25.7 years old compared to 23.4 years old for the Checkers. I noted in a previous article how much veteran depth the Canes kept or added in Charlotte to build a veteran AHL team aimed at winning. On the roster are T.J. Hensick (29), Derek Ryan (28) and Zach Boychuk (26). If Drayson Bowman who was added on a try out contract today stays, at 26 years old he will further boost the average age for the Checkers.
I think the upshot includes a couple things:
- The Hurricanes are young and getting younger on defense.
- Per my previous article, Ron Francis is making a conscious effort to build a winner in Charlotte even adding veteran AHLers to do it.
- The core and likely additions to the core at the NHL level is very young which is a positive if the core proves to be good.