On Dec. 21, underdogs everywhere will celebrate National Underdog Day, which falls on the third Friday of every December. It’s a fitting date for the NHL. After all, only 6.6 percent of players in league history have been born in December, tied with November for lowest among all months, compared to 10.4 percent for those born in January, which is tops.
Yet new research may give hope to December underdogs across the hockey world.
That’s the upshot of what professors Ben Gibbs and Jonathan Jarvis of Brigham Young University found in their study, “The relative age effect reversal among the National Hockey League elite.” Gibbs and Jarvis employed 20 students to crunch data for North American-born NHLers (excluding goalies and undrafted players) from 2008-09 to 2015-16. They divided players i...
About the Author
Ronnie Shuker is an editor at large for The Hockey News. He brought his philosophy and journalism graduate degrees to THN in 2011 and has been living the dream since. By day he mans his desk, crushing copy and weaving yarns for the magazine. By night he’s either at home or in the press box watching dump-truck loads of hockey.