Prospect Ramblings: Entry-level Contracts and Team Composition (August 7, 2016)

Hayden Soboleski


How many budget entry-level contracts does a team need on their NHL roster to be afford to be competitve? I take a look in this Sunday's Ramblings…


Its no secret that many teams hancuff themselves when it comes to the salary cap. You can't be competitive without top talent (which doesn't come cheap), so to balance a top-heavy roster, organizations rely on budget contracts. And what's the best way to have talented players being paid (often) less than they're worth? Entry-level contracts. We know that to be a truly deep team young, cheap contribution is required, but how much of a roster needs to be composed of these prospects? I'm going to try to find out.


I want to find out what percentage of a team's roster is made of up players on ELCs, and what percentage of the team's cap space thoseplyers actually accounted for. I used past years' cap numbers from, and manually went through rosters to find which players were on ELCs at the time. For each year, I took the average values from both teams in the Stanley Cup FInals, and both teams that finished at the top of their division. I looked at the last three years, as organizations are starting to get the hang of this whole salary cap business. 


Here is the data I've used for my study:

Stanley Cup Finals Teams Top Regular Season Teams
Roster composition Cap composition Roster composition Cap composition
2015-16 23.8% 5.30% 20.5% 6.0%
2014-15 30.2% 9.05% 25.0%