Yes, there are two types of wrists shots in hockey, yet I am amazed at how many people are unaware of this fact. A newcomer to the game of hockey asked for some wrist shot tips in a popular hockey forum.
Many beer leaguers who have been playing hockey for years tried to help. The problem was that different people were teaching different types of wrist shots as if they were the same type. I could not find one good article that addresses both types of wrist shots so I thought I would clear things up.
Both types of wrist shots are commonly used in hockey, and both have their pros and cons. The first one I will discuss is the first type of wrist shot you should learn, and also the most powerful. The second type of wrist shot is great for getting a quick shot off but not quite as powerful as the first.
1. The most powerful type of wrist shot
This is the first type of wrist shot you should learn because it teaches the fundamentals of how to take a wrist shot. For this type of wrist shot the player rotates the shoulders and trunk and draws the puck back, and across the body. Rotating at the trunk allows the player to bring the puck further back which will result in a more powerful shot.
The player will now execute the wrist shot by pulling the puck toward the net, rotating the shoulders and trunk towards the net, and transferring weight onto the leg opposite of their stick handiness (right handed shot transfers weight onto left leg)
This type of wrist shot allows the player to derive power from their core muscles, and also allows them to transfer more energy and power into their shot. The puck will be on the blade of the stick longer as well which will also result in more power.
Where to use the powerful wrist shot:
The powerful wrist shot is a great tool for defencemen to use. This type of shot can be used in situations when a slapshot would take to long to set up, or a more accurate shot is needed. My favourite use of this shot is when I am coming into the offensize zone on the off wing, with one defencemen at the blue line. I penetrate the offensive zone near the boards, and the defence will now be near the top of the circle. At this point I push the puck forwards as if I am going to go hard into the corner or dump the puck in. Then I pull the puck back into position for the powerful wrist shot and cut to the cemtre. I shoot for the side of the net that I just came from. I know the goalie will be moving from the side I just came from, to the centre of the net, which gives me a good spot to shoot. The defence can also provide a partial screen which will increase chamces of scoring. (explained in the video as well for all you visual learners)
2. The quick release wrist shot
This type of wrist shot is great if you want to surprise the goalie with a quick snapper. In fact some say this type of wrist shot is a mix between wrist shot and snapshot (it can be depending on how you execute it). For this type of wrist shot the player keeps their chest facing the net and draws the puck behind them, and on their shooting side.
The player then leans into the shot, while quickly snapping the puck towards the net. For this shot the weight is transferred onto the same leg as the way the player shoots (right handed player transfers weight onto right leg) This type of wrist shot derives less power from the core and leg muscles, which results in a weaker shot.
In order to get as much power as possible from this shot the player must learn to use the flex of their stick to help generate power. Some NHL players refer to this as slingshotting the puck at the net ( especially if you have a low flex stick) the loss in power in this shot is made up with the quick set up and release.Know that you know about the two types of wrist shots, you should learn when to use each type of shot.
Where to use quick wrist shots:
The best time to use the quick wrist shot is when you are in close to the net. The faster you can get the shot off the better. My favorite way to score with a quick wrist shot is to skate in, pick a spot and let it rip. The key to scoring this way is accuracy, and not giving any clues that you are going to shoot. A great way to perfect this is to practice executing the quick wrist shot without breaking your stride. Another great way to score with the quick wrist shot is through the five hole. The closer you are to the goalie, the less time the goalie has to close the gap, and the better chance you have to score.
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