Ice hockey has a number of moves and techniques for players. In fact, there is a sweet science behind effective stick-handling in both professional and junior league hockey. As part of our “Tuesday Trickshot” section, we highlight some of top stick handlers of yesteryear and today. We also list essential links and tips that can help you become better in these intricate and detailed maneuvers.

The Great Pavel Datsyuk

Pavel Datsyuk was considered one of the best when it came to stick-handling. In fact, the Russian “Magic Man” is still well known for his elite defensive play and game-changing offensive skills. Over his illustrious career, Pavel perfected the art of stick handling on both offense and defense. He also utilized these learned skills to score a myriad of goals, as well as get out of trouble when hounded by opponents.

Stick handling is when players control and maneuver the puck with their hockey sticks. These techniques are designed to either score a quick goal or protect the puck from the other team. With this in mind, Pavel’s signature “keep away” game and trick shots electrified the NHL and continues to be emulated by other players today. If you want to be as good as Pavel, weighted stick training is the way to go.

What Is Weighted Stick Training?

Weighted stick training is designed to enhance and master your stick-handling skills. As a hockey enthusiast, I have seen a significant improvement in my game by performing weighted hockey stick drills weekly. Here are some of the benefits of these drills for both offensive and defensive maneuvers:

  • Weighted stick training improves core strength, muscles and overall balance and agility.
  • These drills help build muscles in both the arms and legs – needed for proper puck control and movements on ice.
  • Enhances your puck handling and shooting skills, along with puck “dribbling” or tricks when approaching the net.
  • Improves your cardiovascular performance and conditioning for junior and professional play.
  • Improves your side-to-side puck handling skills for wide or narrow offensive or defensive moves.

Weighted Sticks – Buy or Build Your Own

For effective weighted stick training, you can easily place two pucks and a circular weight on your standard hockey stick. Make sure to place the two pucks first and slide them down to the base of the stick. Next, place the circular weight with the middle hole – slide it down until it is resting on the pucks. You can then perform the skills as taught by Pavel in the side-to-side video link above. You can also purchase a weighted stick online or by visiting your local sporting goods store. Until next time, keep enjoying the ice!

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