Specific Skills for Defencemen
The following information provides you with five categories in which the defence player will be evaluated. Please keep the categories and specific skills noted in mind during the evaluation.
- Quick feet, acceleration (forward and backward)
- Quick starts from stand still (forward and backward)
- Varying or change of speeds forwards and backwards
- Turning / pivots from forward to backward and vice versa
- Balance, strong on skates?
- Lateral movement
- Stops and starts, as opposed to swooping turns that take you out of the play or giving up on the play
- Stick handling and puck possession (protection)
- Stick handling at high speeds skating forward and backward
- Passing skills (head manning puck, looking for passes, receiving passes)
- Passing at high speeds
- Quick, hard, and accurate shot
- Playing the body, body positioning
- Stick checks, stick positioning
- Forcing to the outside, taking away the middle of the ice
- Angling or steering or influencing the opposition
- Pressure vs contain situations
- Gap control
- Pinning the man
- Controlling the man in front of the net
- Communication with team mates on the back check, reading the pressure, controlling the situation
- Reads and reacts, anticipates
- Play without the puck, anticipation and positioning, timing, skating away from the puck
- Offensive and defensive zone awareness
Size and Strength
- One on one battles, can they compete? Which player wants it more?
- Physical presence. Do they finish hits? Are they smart hitters or do they take themselves out of the play?
- Intimidating factor. Does the player use their size? Do they punish opponents?
- Can they compete with the opposition in front of the net?