World Cup Forwards - Offensive Proficiency
Photo: Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire
The World Cup of Hockey will showcase most of the best forwards in the game, with exception of a few absences due to injury.
The smaller NHL ice surface should quicken the tempo from the usual international pace and allow the offensive talents to thrive.
Which team has the strongest group of offensive forwards?
In answering that question, we used the cumulative per-minute contributions for all forwards on each team from the 2015/16 NHL season.
The top team is designated as the standard at 100% with each of the other seven teams expressed as a percentage of the leader. In the few instances of players not playing in the NHL last season, we have used an adjusted average.
Canada has the strongest group of offensive forwards with both great top end and offensive depth in their line-up. The biggest challenge is finding enough ice time for all the talent. In a short tournament, running three lines is often better than running four.
North America is 2nd at almost 15% behind the Canadians. Connor McDavid leads a gifted offensive group with great speed that should make opposition defensemen very uncomfortable.
Russia is right behind in 3rd with very high end offensive talent but have a few question marks regarding depth, particularly with respect to their KHL additions. This would depend on how they perform and how much they play.
USA in 4th has usually been a heavily weighted offensive group, but this US World Cup version is much more well-rounded, which will be more apparent when we look at defensive proficiency.
The Swedes and Czechs rank 6th and 7th offensively with the Swedes losing a big piece to injury in Henrik Zetterberg and the Czechs losing a few key players as well.
The Finland forwards are in last spot and are not as gifted offensively in comparison to the other seven teams but their strength is on the defensive side.
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