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Using Zone Entries to Create Offence

By The Coaches Site, 02/23/22, 10:30AM EST


Former Jets assistant coach on playing fast and entering with speed

Todd Woodcroft is currently the Head Coach for the University of Vermont Men's Hockey team. A frequent guest of The Coaches Site, Woodcroft has over 20 years experience in the NHL and internationally. Todd began his career with the Minnesota Wild in 2000 and has worked for the Washington Capitals, LA Kings, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets. He also spent a year in the KHL as the Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Personnel for Dynamo Minsk.

Watching the rise of the Jets over the past few seasons has been a treat for hockey fans and coaches in Manitoba’s capital. Woodcroft, a former Jets assistant coach, is one of the people responsible for flying the team in the right direction. For him, it all comes down to playing the game with pace and execution.

“It’s a game that has to be played fast,” he says. “You have to move the puck fast, make decisions fast, and play fast as a team.”

How do the Jets incorporate that philosophy? After all, everyone wants to play fast.

For Woodcroft, it starts by moving the puck north immediately. Winnipeg’s defencemen are encouraged to give the puck to the forwards as quickly as possible. After that, it’s up to their forwards to enter the zone with speed.

“From a coach’s perspective, hockey can’t be about scoring. It’s about creating offensive zone time and sustaining it.”

Woodcroft got on the ice with us at our Hockey Coaches Conference in 2018 to teach our audience how to Create Offence from Zone Entries. In this excerpt, Woodcroft explains how to use the middle lane to open up options at the offensive blueline.

Woodcroft’s full presentation is available at The Coaches Site, along with hundreds of other presentations from hockey’s top coaches and leaders. 

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