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10 Best Hockey Drills for Your Next Tryout

10 Best Hockey Drills for Your Next Tryout

From gather evaluators to finding volunteers for your hockey tryout, selecting the right hockey tryout drills often gets overlooked.

You might decide a few hours before a hockey tryout which drills to run at random. However, in order to be confident with each of your drafting decisions, running the right hockey drills is an essential component to a successful tryout.

Kind of like a recipe, if you skip one of the instructions, the end result won’t turn out as intended. Therefore, you want to pick a mix of hockey tryout drills to evaluate players on their skill, technique, and capacity, resulting in more accurate team placement decisions in the end.

This blog uncovers the 10 best hockey tryout drills that are easy to execute and score.

Hockey Goalie Drills

  • The goalie will start standing in the center of the net
  • Drop down to the butterfly position
  • T-push to right side (while in the butterfly position)
  • Stand up and skate over to the right side
  • Drop down into the butterfly position
  • T-push to the left side (while in the butterfly position)
  • Repeat this drill for 10-15 reps, alternating between the left and right sides

See the butterfly drill in action

  • The goalie will start on left post
  • T-push forward to the center of crease (in a diagonal line)
  • T-push backwards to the right post (in a diagonal line)
  • Repeat for 20-25 reps, alternating starting from the left and right posts
  • *This T-push drill will be in the triangle formation

Hockey Shooting Drills

Set up: Place two cones about 2-inches behind the blue line and 6-feet apart

Execution:

  • Have 6-8 of your players stand in a single file line behind each cone.
  • Player 1 skates in a clockwise circle around the cone and towards the goal
  • As player 1 is skating the around the cone, player 2 passes the puck to player 1
  • Player 1 receives the puck and shoots
  • Player 1 goes to the back of the line (on the opposite side)
  • Player 2 now skates around the cone, player 3 passes the puck to player 2
  • Player 2 receives the puck and shoots
  • Rotate through players, running through this drill for 6-8 minutes
Hockey shooting drill

Around-the-Cone & Shoot Drill

Set up: Three players will each stand in a single file line on one corner of the ice

Execution:

  • Each player will take turns skating the outlined route (pictured in the diagram below), and attempt to make a shot
  • The players will rotate routes, until each player has skated the 3 routes
  • After those 3 players have performed the drill, swap out with 3 new players (until everyone has had one turn)

See the 3-shot drill in action

Hockey shooting drill

3-Shot Drill

Hockey Skating Drills

Setup: Have 3 players line up in a single file line on one corner of the ice

Execution:

  • On the coach’s whistle, player 1 will skate the outlined route (pictured in the diagram below) with speed starting at 75% and then increasing to 100%
  • Have each player skate the outlined route 5 times
  • After those 3 players have performed the drill, swap out with 3 new players (until everyone has had a turn)
  • Tip: Set a time limit for each “route.” Document the times for each player and for each route. Then, when this drill is performed through the season, players can have a benchmark to refer to (and ideally beat!).
Hockey skating drill

Overspeed Drill

Set up: Place 3 pylons about 6-feet apart from each other. Set up two of these stations on the ice.

Execution:

  • Players will use
  • Progression #1: Players will skate with both legs (inside edge)
  • Progression #2: Players will skate with right leg only, transitioning from inside edge to outside edge
  • Progression #3: Players will repeat progression #2 on the opposite foot
  • After both players have done all 3 progressions, rotate to the next 2 players (until everyone has had a turn)
Figure 8 hockey drill

Figure 8 Drill

Defensive Hockey Drills

Set up:  Set up two pylons on opposite ends of the ice, about 3-feet away from the boards. Have players line up in a single file line behind one pylon.

Execution:

  • Starting slightly behind one pylon and facing the boards, player 1 will push off with the toe of their left skate and start moving backwards
  • Player 1 will shift their right skate to the outside edge
  • After shifting the right skate, players will pick up their left foot and cross it over, ensuring its inside their right foot
  • Players will glide for 2-3 seconds in this position
  • They will then uncross their left foot, bringing it back to the outside
  • Players will repeat this process across the entire length of the ice, ensuring they are alternating what foot they are picking up and crossing over each time.
  • Run this drill for 6-8 minutes

See the crossover drill in action

Set up: Set up two pylons on opposite ends of the ice, about 3-feet away from the boards. 3 players will start on one end of the ice, about 12-feet apart from one another, facing the boards.

Execution:

  • Starting on their left foot, players will use the inside and outside edges of their skate to generate momentum and power while skating backwards
  • While focusing on edgework, players will simultaneously work on stick handling: transferring the puck from the exterior to the interior of their sticks
  • Once players reach the end of the ice, they will turn around and repeat this drill on their right foot
  • The next three players will take position and execute this drill
  • Rotate through players for 10-12 minutes

Hockey Passing Drills

Setup: Place four cones on the face-off dots in the middle of the ice

Execution:

  • Select 2 players to first run this drill (for 2 minutes straight)
  • Players will move back and forth laterally between the cones, making both straight and diagonal passes to each other without stopping
  • Note: Passes should be timed. I.e., Player 1 should time their pass so it arrives at the cone the same time player 2 does
Hockey passing drill

Setup: Have 5 players stand equal distance apart around the red circle, with the coach standing in the middle of one circle and an assistant coach standing in the middle of another circle.

Execution:

  • The coach will start by passing the puck to any player in the circle
  • The receiving player will have to properly cushion the puck, and then they will pass it across the circle to another player at random
  • Run through this drill for 5-7 minutes
Hockey passing drill

Pass Around-the-Clock Drill

Wrapping Up

Evaluating skills during hockey tryouts is a critical component to building a successful team. By focusing on drills that showcase players’ passing, skating, shooting, positioning, and game sense, it becomes easier to identify athletes who are adept on ice.

Looking for a hockey app to easily score and analyze your players at any assessment? Don’t forget to check out SkillShark before your hockey tryout season begins!

Try SkillShark for FREE

Start simplifying your hockey evaluations. Set up your first 25 players for free on SkillShark.

FAQ — Hockey Player Evaluations

SkillShark is a leading evaluation software and app designed to assist coaches in assessing and improving the performance of hockey players. It streamlines the evaluation process by providing instant feedback reports after each assessment, saving coaches valuable time compared to traditional data entry into spreadsheets.

Yes, SkillShark is a versatile tool suitable for evaluating athletes in various sports. While this blog focuses on hockey, SkillShark can be applied to multiple sports, making it a valuable resource for coaches across different disciplines.

Getting started with SkillShark is easy. You can request a free demo to learn how the app works and see if it suits your coaching needs.

There are no strings attached to trying out SkillShark, and the demo will provide you with valuable insights into its features and benefits.

SkillShark offers customizable templates for assessments, allowing you to tailor your evaluations to meet specific criteria. It provides instant player report cards, which give you a quick overview of a player’s performance. Additionally, SkillShark allows coaches to enhance evaluations with video feedback, providing a comprehensive views of player’s abilities.

Absolutely! SkillShark is suitable for coaches at all levels, whether you are working with youth players or professionals. The customizable templates and flexibility of the app make it adaptable to your coaching requirements, regardless of the players’ skill levels. Customize the evaluation template with beginner hockey drills of your choice, then get to scoring and analyzing these youth hockey players.

SkillShark is versatile and can be used for both individual player evaluations and team assessments. Coaches can tailor the evaluations to meet their specific coaching objectives, whether they are working with individual players or entire teams.

Yes, SkillShark can be used for hockey evaluations across various skill levels, from youth players to professionals. Coaches can adapt the assessment criteria and templates to suit the developmental stage of the players they are working with.

If you have any more questions or need further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to SkillShark’s support team for assistance at support@skillshark.com

You can measure hockey players on skills such as:
• Passing
• Skating
• Shooting
• Character
• Game Sense

1. Choose hockey tryout drills 2-3 weeks ahead of time.
2. Select evaluators 1 week before and communicate with them (i.e., run through the drills and explain what they should look for at each station they are evaluating).
3. Focus on positive relationships. Aside from coaching hockey tryouts, take the time to get to know athletes and provide verbal tips for improvement when you can.

SkillShark offers a free printable hockey tryout template. All you have to do is download and print, then you are ready to evaluate!

While we do offer a hockey evaluation form, we do recommend checking out the SkillShark app, removing pen-and-paper evaluations.

Danielle Stringer

Danielle is a dynamic content marketer with a unique blend of creativity and analytical expertise. She is driven by her passion for helping companies scale through lead generation, always finding distinctive ways to connect with her audience. Drawing from her extensive background in B2B SaaS, she is thrilled to apply her skills and knowledge in her current role at SkillShark Software Inc.