Circle Puck Protect diagram

Circle Puck Protect diagram

The Circle Puck Protect Drill from John Dean is a warm-up drill that gets players engaged at the beginning of practice while practicing puck protection & angling concepts.


  • Players in opposite corners of the ice.
  • On the first whistle, 2 players from the corner battle for the loose puck inside the face-off circle.
  • On the second whistle, the player with the puck, or the player that last touched the puck, takes the puck down the ice, while the player without the puck gets up ice and looks to angle the other puck carrier coming down the ice.
  • The forward with the puck can NOT cut to the middle of the ice until they pass the red line.

Coaching Points

  • For the 1 v 1 circle battle, compete, get low and work hard to use your body to protect the puck.
  • For the 1 v 1 full ice:
    • Defender: Try to match their skating speed. Keep stick on the ice and not let the forward cut to the center of the ice. Push them wide with your stick and angle.
    • Forward: Keep head up and look to see if there are any opportunities to cut to the middle of the ice. If not, drive wide and to the net.

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