Thread: "Top 6"
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07-07-2013, 12:32 AM
These Snacks Are Odd
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Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
To me a true top six forward is a player who is top 60 in es ppg, strictly speaking
If that's your metric, then here's the list of teams with a full complement of top six forwards at the start of last season:

... ta-da! The closest was Boston with 5. Only eight teams had at least a line's worth of top six forwards by your definition. Three of those teams missed the playoffs entirely, and only two made it past the first round. The Stanley Cup champions had two.

A top six forward, strictly speaking, is a player who can make a big enough contribution to play on his team's first or second scoring lines as defined by the coach (generally measurable through playing time). A top six forward is derived from a combination of subjective observation (How well does he handle the puck? Does he know when to be selfish? How accurate are his passes? Can he consistently deceive a goalie 1-on-1? etc.) and objective statistical benchmarks, like 50 points or 0.6 points per game. I suspect there are, at any given time, about 100-120 players in the NHL who meet the qualifications for a "top six forward" as is often bandied about here.

The thing is, teams tend to develop those players in-house and keep them there. Nashville has either had extenuating circumstances (Radulov, Hartnell), or has seen its high-end forward prospects simply fail to develop (Upshall). Wilson seems to have stemmed that tide, and maybe now Beck, Bourque, and Forsberg (maybe even Cehlin, Watson, and/or Aberg) can turn it. It will take another year or two for that core to fully emerge, but we might finally have our scoring woes put to an end for a while once they get rolling.

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