Forehand Retriever Drill

This is a great hockey drill to work on if you have a station-based practice or at a stick and puck session. Being able to retrieve the puck well to start a breakout is a great skill for the defense to master especially as they get older and play at higher levels. Lots of opportunities for repetition and practicing various fakes as the players improve. 


  • To start the drill have a coach or another player with the puck just outside the blue line in the middle of the ice.
  • The player should start at about the top of the circle in line with the face-off dots.  
  • On the whistle, the player takes a few hard strides forwards and transitions towards the middle of the ice.
  • The coach then dumps a puck in deep just off to the side of the net.  The player needs to open up without crossing over and take a good angle when retrieving the puck so they collect the puck on their forehand and are able to face up ice as quickly as possible.

Coaching Points:

  • On their way to retrieving the puck they should get in the habit of looking over their shoulder and reading the ice before they get the puck.
  • The player should go at a puck at an angle so they can keep their speed up.
  • The player should also try and face up ice and stay inside the dots to give them better passing options.  
  • Once the player gains control of the puck they should skate it up to about the dot and make a pass back the coach.
  • The players can do 2 - 3 reps each time.


  • Once players are comfortable with retrieving the puck on their forehand: work to add in deceptive fakes with their upper and lower body before collecting the puck.
  • Get comfortable with picking the puck up with forehand and backhand.
  • Practice coming out both sides of the ice.

Supporting Fundamentals


nateelliott on 9/10/2018

dman pivots, puck pickup and pass while moving feet(not flat footed)

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