Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/17/14 at 10:54 AM ET
from Daniel Schwartz of CBC,
National Hockey League forwards reach their peak scoring performance at age 28 and defencemen peak at age 29, while goaltenders show little change in performance based on age, says a new study that crunched the numbers.
Those are the key findings of a study by the UBC business school that looked at the data from the 14 regular seasons between 1997-98 and 2011-12.
For co-author James Brander, the bottom line of their study is that "the key to winning is having good, young players."
The study will be published in the June issue of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. Brander's co-authors are Edward Egan and Louisa Yeung. They analyzed peak performance in a number of ways, but the statistics they relied on were regular season points scored and plus-minus for skaters and save percentage for goalies.
Brander's team also found that forwards:
Improve more quickly than they decline and typically begin "a significant decline in their early 30s."
Perform within 90 per cent of their peak from 24 to 32 years old.
25 is their most common age, with 24-27 very similar.
Defencemen, the co-authors report:
Improve and decline more slowly than forwards and do so very symmetrically.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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