It’s almost time to start the engines for the 2022-23 season. The Washington Capitals open their season in just 59 days, and are anticipated to open training camp in 40 days or so, with players beginning to trickle back into town in the next two to three weeks.
Each preseason we collect a wealth of data on the latest version of the Washington Capitals team and feed it into the NoVa Caps database. Some of that data includes height and weight data for each player.
In today’s post I thought I would begin to aggregate all of the height and weight data and have a look at any potential trends over time. I know you’re busy, so let’s get to it.
TRENDS IN TEAM SIZE
Team Average Height
The first chart simply plots the Capitals average team height and league ranking in height for each season from 2016 t0 2022. [Click to enlarge]
Sometimes data tells you nothing has really changed and that’s likely the case here. The team has remained right around 73.44 inches (about 6’1”) since 2016. They’ve essentially increased their average height about an inch since 2018-19 season.
The Capitals have remained in the top half of tallest teams in the league since 2016, and have climbed near the top of the league in recent seasons, while their team average has generally remained the same. That could indicate that there might be a league trend moving towards slightly smaller players.
Team Average Weight
The next chart plots the Capitals average weight and league ranking in weight for each season since 2016. [Click to enlarge].
For whatever it’s worth, the team peaked in average weight the year they won the Stanley Cup, but the average has been decreasing ever since. They were the third heaviest team in the league for the 2017-18 season.
TRENDS IN DRAFT SELECTIONS
It’s also helpful to track trends associated with draft selections. The next graph simply plots the average height and weight for each draft class since 2016.
Trends In Draftee Height
The final chart plots the average height and weight for each draft class since 2016. [Click to enlarge].
The 2019 draft class was the heaviest and tallest draft class over the last seven years. The class was small, but three of the four players were 6’-4” or greater in height. (See raw data at end of post).
Updated height data, tall players have underperformed their draft position by a wide margin.
To surprise nobody, it looks like tall defencemen are likely the most overvalued, and the hit rate on very short forwards relative to draft position is incredibly high pic.twitter.com/kk1I5NJzUG
— Chace McCallum (@CMhockey66) May 17, 2022
As we’ve seen with the Capitals team data, there looks to be a trend towards the smaller, stockier players over the last 3-4 years, but more data (context) is still needed in order to land on that conclusion.
By Jon Sorensen
DETAILED “TALE OF THE TAPE” POSTS
- 2018-2019 “Capitals Tale Of The Tape”
- 2017-2018 “Capitals Tale Of The Tape”
- 2016-2017 “Capitals Tale Of The Tape”
- 2015-2016 “Capitals Tale Of The Tape”