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

Hayden Soboleski

2016-08-07

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…


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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 stats.nhlnumbers.com, 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:

Year
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%