Hockey: Ranking AUS rosters by experience

Coaches, fans and broadcasters often use the term "young team", especially if they are trying to justify the squad not meeting expectations. I thought I'd try to compare the AUS men's hockey teams, computing the average in years for seasons actually played in the AUS by the players. This is slightly different than just using the values based on their eligibility year, as you would find on the AUS website. For example, SMU's Mike Danton, UNB's Jeff Lee and Dal's Jordan Berk are all officially in their third year of eligibility, but this is the first year for each of them in the AUS, so I considered them as first year players.

Also, to try to minimize the impact of outliers - players on the team rosters who are usually healthy scratches - I used the playing rosters for all of the teams for the games on Saturday, February 6, 2010. So here is the ranking, from least to most experienced roster:

1. StFX 2.05 seasons
2. UNB 2.10
3. STU 2.20
UPEI 2.20
Dal 2.20
6. Acadia 2.50
7. SMU 2.53
8. UdeM 2.75

Now my methodology is not perfect, as it is based on a one day snapshot. UNB had a couple of veterans as scratches on Saturday -- Josh Hepditch was behind the bench as an assistant coach and Ryan Seymour was back in Fredericton preparing to write his LSATs. If injured StFX captain Chris Hulit had replaced a first year forward, X's average that night would have been 2.20. STU's Tyler Dietrich was benched by his coach and Justin Wallingford didn't play for SMU.

What jumps out to me is how "young" UNB is, and yet they are the top team in the country this season. Scary for the Varsity Reds' opponents should be the fact that only John Scott Dickson is in his fifth and last year of eligibility.

Additionally, it might be worth comparing how many first year players were on the rosters for Saturday night's games.

Dal: 10
UNB: 8
StFX: 8
STU: 6
SMU: 6
Acadia: 3
UdeM: 2
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. I doubt the other coaches in the AUS are "scared" by UNB's relative youth. Players mature/develop/adjust at different rates over the course of their careers, even at the university level. I would suggest that Mike Danton, for instance, has a bigger upside in the next season or two than, to pick someone at random, Jeff Lee.
    Thus, the gap can close quickly. Recruiting, and the impact rookies can have on a program, also impact. I would suggest concentrating on winning one championship before counting any others.

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Bill. Anything else of great interest you'd like to add?

  3. Just an opinion. I thought that was allowed.

  4. @ 7:59: Was that a dig? If so, uncalled for, man. We really do appreciate that a veteran sports journalist such as Mr. Hunt offers us praise and feedback.