Steve Kournianos Contributor @TheDraftAnalyst Updated at 9:07 a.m. ET Updated at 9:07 a.m. ET Watch NHLNHL with fuboTV It’s a great time to be a young hockey player. Probably more so than ever before, as the NHL is seeing the average age of its players drop thanks to kids on entry-level contracts who are sticking with their clubs and earning roles with significant responsibility. Most teams have uniformly ditched the outdated philosophy that experience trumps puck skills, and the NHL’s headline grabbers are getting younger and younger by the year. This trend isn’t limited only to North America. Sweden’s Elias Pettersson, drafted fifth overall in 2017 by Vancouver, was still a teenager last season when he was named the SHL’s Most Valuable Player, and defenseman Miro Heiskanen, the Stars’ top prospect, was one of the youngest players to be named best defenseman of Finland’s elite SM-Liiga. They are two of dozens of teens and early 20-somethings who are on the cusp of leaving their imprint on a league that now is far more forgiving toward neophytes than in previous generations. A league-wide focus on speed and skill over size and strength is apparent for forwards and defenseman alike, and recent drafts have shown us… Read full this story
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