Size Matters: A Look At The Trends In Capitals Team And Draft Selection Size For The Past Seven Years

Photo: @Capitals

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).

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

WASHINGTON CAPITALS DRAFT SELECTIONS – 2016 TO 2022

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Size Matters: A Look At The Trends In Capitals Team And Draft Selection Size For The Past Seven Years

  1. steven says:

    Just like any other sport size and speed matter. Teams arelooking for taller playrs with speed…….you know the saying speed kills, well in sports speed wins! This is another reason that as players age you trade them because as most players age they lose some of their speedslowly. So you wnat to keep your team young, tall and speedy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Never liked the Lucas J selection by passing up TT but no GM runs 100%….

    • steven says:

      Now Im not fond of GMBM nut I wonder how he could possible drat a player at 28 that was already drafted at 26? And if you remember tage went from St louis along with 2 other players adn a 1st and a 2nd round pick for to Buffalo for Ryan O’Reilly and at that point Tage was almost a throw in as he really didnt produce much until last season his 3 season as a pro after sevral seasons in the minors for both St louis and Buffalo Remember he was in the 2016 draft. Hindsight after last year maybe you are right but in 2
      016 the Caps were not looking for a forward they were looking for a D. So once again how were they to draft a player already drafted and then draft a forward to play D?

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