1. Youth leading the way
People keeping say the Carolina Hurricanes are a young team, and they are. But I don’t think fans truly realize how young Carolina is in regards to the rest of the league. If you go by just a simple average of each players age, the Hurricanes are ranked third in the league by Quant Hockey for the youngest team behind the Jets and the Buffalo Sabres. The team’s average age is 25.557 years and that’s pretty young. If one actually adjusts for the actual impact of the youth by weighting ages by games played the Hurricanes jump all the way to first place. What this means is that while other teams may have younger players on their rosters, the Hurricanes actually have the more young players playing vital roles for the team.
It’s not hard to notice this when you watch the games. Just look at who is having the most noticeable affect on play night in and night out. Players like Sebastian Aho, Jaccob Slavin, and Brett Pesce are performing phenomenally and all three are on entry level contracts. Noah Hanifin plays significant minutes as well on an ELC along with Teuvo Teravainen. Then you have guys like Viktor Rask and Elias Lindholm who are still only on their second contracts.
What about those grizzled veterans Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk? Both are only 24 years old and just starting to hit their prime statistically. Even old man Jordan Staal is only 28 years old hardly washed up by any means. Basically, the top two defensive pairs of the future and the top forward lines are all under 25 with the exception of Jordan Staal. So yeah, while this year hasn’t been great given the age of the team’s top players there is still plenty of time and room for improvement.