Top 6 Sophomores vs Top 6 Rookies in the West

Anthony Lancione

2013-10-21

 NathanMacKinnon

 

Top 6 Sophomores vs Top 6 Rookies, Western Conference

 

It's no secret that in today's NHL, salary cap restrictions will more often than not favor the inexpensive ELC (Entry Level Contract) substitute over the greybeard veteran looking for a retirement contract. Especially in a rare year where the cap ceiling has been dealt a downward spike, many casualties will inevitably surface. The freezing out of the Jason Arnotts, Vinny Prospals, Milan Hejduks and Simon Gagnes of the world have certainly paved the way for many fringe, promising prospects to accelerate their paths to the big show. 

 

In several cases, the skills, experience and leadership traits possessed by the wily veterans whom are denied NHL deals, exceed the raw offerings of the youngsters chosen over them. The 'Cap-onomics' from time to time force this issue, which very well may slightly water down the league's product in the short-term. However, on the contrary, this also allows talented NHL-ready prospects a chance to shine, who were otherwise blocked from a promotion by fat, unfulfilled contracts (no longer bury-able in the AHL). i.e. The Calgary Flames exodus allowed for the opportunity afforded to Sean Monahan to spread his wings.

 

In recent years, this has resulted in a somewhat steady influx of 18- to 21-year-old talents into the league; a larger group than we've been accustomed to in prior decades.

 

Here's a look at the Top 6 2013 class rookies pitted against the Top 6 sophomores; many of whom have been direct beneficiaries of cap squeezes around the Western Conference:

 

SOPHOMORES

 

1) Jakob SilfverbergIn some situations, young players have what it takes to compete at the NHL level, but are deprived of the quality