With opening night rosters now set for all 32 teams, we can begin to take our annual look at the makeup of each of the teams at the start of the 2022-23 season, including the average age for each of the opening night rosters. Average roster ages are dynamic (changing) values throughout the season, with call-ups, injuries, etc., but the values generally stay in the same approximate range for each team.
The following table below shows the average roster ages for each team at the end of last season (6/8/22) and the average team ages after yesterday’s 23-man roster deadline. This allows us to take a look at how off-season changes affected each of the teams.
In the Metropolitan Division, the Penguins got older, while the Capitals essentially remained the same. They are the two oldest teams in the league. The Islanders, Rangers and Blue Jackets got younger, while the Hurricanes, Flyers and Devils saw an increase to their average roster age.
There’s no debating that under Peter Laviolette, the team has favored experience over youth – Zdeno Chara over Jonas Siegenthaler, Marcus Johansson over Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, etc., but it’s not as simple as a comparison of ages. Often experience is indeed greater than youth, particularly when there is a “must win now” edict in place. The longer-term affects of that philosophy on a team are another story entirely.
On the positive side, consider that the top 6 youngest teams in the NHL last season missed the playoffs, while the six oldest teams made the postseason.
The Capitals open up their 2022-23 campaign Wednesday night when they host the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7PM, and will broadcast nationally on TNT.
Age data courtesy of CapFriendly.
By Jon Sorensen