SportsCentre, Twitter, YouTube and Don Cherry all went crazy earlier this year when Tomas Hertl, rookie forward with the San Jose Sharks scored four goals in a game highlighted by an incredible shot through his legs. Skilled, confident, cocky were just some of the adjectives used.
With the speed of the game creating less time and space, players continue to develop their puck control and balance and we are seeing this skill used more and more to change the angle of a shot or pass, to shield and protect the puck and simply create time and space that is being taken away.
In both these examples, the passer simply creates a passing lane that wasn’t there. Both clips illustrate the outstanding body control to drop the puck through their legs and skill level to pass to an open player. Max Domi’s pass is a saucer pass to boot!
This play is where the player moves the puck from behind their body through their legs without exposing the puck to the defender. Duchene’s move completely changes his point of attack whereas Loui Ericksson’s pull move separates him from the defense to allow him to go in on a breakaway without breaking stride.
We have seen this before on breakaways and shootouts … and it never gets old! Amazing skill, timing and body control. Here is Hertl’s goal from earlier this season … and he’s only 20!
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has created The Dangle & Shoot Challenge - an 8-week program for hockey players to develop stick handling skills at home. It also reinforces the concepts introduced Hockey Canada’s Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model which sets out a development progression or pathway for hockey players.
Gain insight into the latest information on Player Development pathways though the Long-Term Player Development model which is a framework to maximize a player’s potential and long term involvement in sport over the course of their life. Hockey Canada’s Long Term Player Development (LTPD) is an eight-stage model based on the physical, mental, emotional and cognitive development of children and adolescents.