Best Hockey Drills

Hockey Skills Evaluation

Hockey skills evaluation is an important part of team selection. It is with this evaluation that coaches decide what player would be good for their team. There are many ways to know if your player has what it takes to make in your team. Here is a rough outline of what you should be looking for:


What you should look out for is acceleration, speed, mobility, agility, balance, crossovers, pivots, acceleration out of turns, quick feet, controlled skating and change of pace. Some basic question you will need to answer when evaluating a player for speed.

Can the players perform the basic forward and backward stride?
Are the player’s knees well bent with the back slightly forward and the head up, or is the hunched over, bending at the waist with little knee bend?
Good skaters will use long strides with a complete recovery of the stride leg before striding with the other leg. Their strides will look very smooth and appear not to require much effort to move around the ice?
Does the player look smooth when they skate or do they appear off balance?
Can the player turn in both directions with little trouble or do they struggle to turn in one or both directions?
Can the player stop in both directions? Younger players will often have trouble stopping in one direction.
Can the player keep up with the play or do they struggle to stay with the other players on the ice?


While evaluating passing here is what you should look out for; Passing, receiving, Passing choices, on backhand, unselfish with the puck, presents a good target, receives and retains with control and touch passing. Basic question you will need to answer for evaluation.

Can the player pass the puck to its intended target with minimal effort?
Can the player make an accurate pass to a moving target?
Can the player receive a pass on their backhand or do they tend to shift their body to receive the pass on the forehand?
Can the player pass the puck off the backhand with some speed and accuracy?
Does the player call for the puck vs. banging their stick on the ice or saying nothing at all?
Does the player passing the puck make eye contact with the intended receiver or do they just pass the puck blindly?
Can the player pass the puck off the boards to another player?
Can the player execute a saucer pass over sticks and other obstacles?

Puck control

Evaluating puck control can be a difficult task. Here is what to watch out for. Heads up, smooth and quiet, good hands, protection, in small spaces and in traffic. Questions that must be answered for evaluation.

Does the player have the basic skills to execute a forehand pass?
When the player passes the puck, do they slap at it or is the motion smooth with the player following through to the intended target?
Does the player appear to be comfortable handling the puck while skating or do they appear to fight the puck and have trouble skating with some speed while handling it?
Can the player keep his/her head up while carrying the puck?
Can they execute dekes and fakes with the puck?
Can't they stop quickly or change directions while handling the puck?
Can the player continue to handle the puck while in traffic and under pressure?
Does the player get pushed or checked off the puck easily?


Shooting the puck is another part of the evaluation. Here is what to check out for. Power, accuracy, quick release, can shoot motion, goal scorer, rebound control and variety of shots.

Can the player execute the technique of a wrist shot and backhand?
Does the player follow through to the target on all shots?
Can the player raise the puck?
Is the puck shot with some velocity?
Does the puck sit flat in the air or does it wobble?
Can the player execute a one-time shot?
Is the player accurate when shooting?

Personal play

How does the player react to the game? Ability to see the play developing both offensively and defensively and moves to support, judgement, anticipation, understands systems, disciplined.

Does the player seem to understand where he/she are to play on the ice?
Do they support the puck in defensive and offensive situations?
Does the player show patience or do they tend to panic when pressured?
Do they protect the mid lane and force opposing players inside out?
Can the player angle another player off the puck?
Does the player force the play or do they wait too long?

Checking concept

A good part of the game comes with checking, here is what to look out for. Angling, good body position with balance and control, defensive side position, aggressiveness checker, strength and taking checks.

Can the player execute basic stick and body checks?
Does the player check properly with their hands down or do they get their arms up to give a check?
Can the player receive a check properly, not turning their back and staying close to the boards?
Can the player check and opposing player and pin them on the boards?
Does the player shy away from other players?

A Hockey skills evaluation can be very complex. Players will not play the same every game so that is why you must watch them as much as possible.

Hockey Skills Evaluation


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