Have you heard? The New York Islanders are the oldest team in the NHL. I'm sure you've never heard that one before. That doesn't sound like something any non-Islander broadcast would repeat ad-nauseam.
With a 29.08 average age, the Isles are in fact the oldest. Although it's not like they're ancient compared to the rest of the league. The 16th oldest team - so middle of the pack (Winnipeg Jets) - has an average age of 27.32. So 1.76 years older. On average.
So when anyone says: "the Islanders are the oldest team" like it's some sort of old folks home, remember this. But now as the team leaves that 13-game road trip and specifically Florida, behind, the youth is taking over.
New York Islanders from oldest to youth movement after leaving Florida
And I don't mean that in some sort of metaphorical way because the young kids are playing well, I mean that literally. During the Isles first practice at the UBS arena on Thursday, the kids were playing in some very important areas.
Here were the lines at practice on Thursday:
The players in bold are 25 years or less. That's seven players of 21 or 33% of the squad that you can still consider young.
Of the team's top six forwards, four are still considered young. That youth is being asked to lead the line offensively for the Islanders. On the blueline three are young but only two will play of course. Whichever those two are will be asked to be the two primary puck carriers out of the D-zone.
Sure, the Islanders still have a core of over 30's like Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and the entire fourth line. And of course, they have the oldest player in the league with 44-year-old Zdeno Chara who is single-handedly bringing the Isles average age up.
But there's no doubt that the youth in the organization is starting to take over.