Will playing a player out of his natural position hurt his performance?
Yes, but the extent to which his performance is hurt depends on several factors. If you switch around any offensive players (such as playing a center at left wing), you will not see his performance decrease. However, playing a forward on defense, even if he has a high defensive rating, will decrease his performance much more significantly. The same is true for playing a defender at a forward position. The degree to with the players are affected varies from player to player.
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