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Deploying the Youth on Defence

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A look into how NHL team's are distributing their defence core's minutes to players 24 and under.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

With Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson taking regular shifts on the Oilers blueline this season, I figured this might be some sort of record in the league. What I wanted to find out specifically was what proportion of a team's defence core's minutes have been given to players 24 and under so far this season.

My guess was that the Oilers would be near the top of the list. And of course I was wrong. They're actually 10th in the league.

So of the 1,325 total minutes played by the Oilers defencemen at even-strength this season, 39% went to the defencemen 24 years old or under. New Jersey, Florida and Anaheim are leading the league so far. The Devils give a bulk of their minutes to Adam Larsson (21) and Damon Severson (22), The Panthers have Aaron Ekblad (19), Alex Petrovic (23) and Dmitry Kulikov (24). And the Ducks have Hampus Lindholm (21), Cam Fowler (23) and Sami Vatanen (24). Must be  nice.