Hockey Defenseman

Ice Hockey Defenseman

A defenseman is a position in hockey. Unlike the goalie and wingers, the defenseman is a key player in a team's ability to block goals and apply pressure in the defensive zone. It is up to the defensemen to help the goalie and prevent shots on goal.

Roles and Responsibilities

The defensemen are responsible for neutralizing offensive players in the defensive zone. They play a strong defensive game and play a major role in blocking shots and protecting the goalie. Defensemen can also play an offensive role in the attacking zone, but usually remain close to the neutral zone in case the puck changes possession.

Recently, defensemen have been taking on more offensive roles. Defenders have gotten better at making breakout passes, setting up their forwards in the offensive zone, and even scoring goals.

Defensemen have a job of supporting the goalie by stopping the puck from entering the net, and intercepting the puck from opposing players and forcing a turnover.

Types of Defensemen

There are three main types of defensemen in the modern game of hockey:

  1. Defensive
  2. Offensive
  3. Two-way

Defensive Defensemen

These defensemen are specialized at playing a particularly strong defensive game. While these defensemen typically don't score very often, they play a pivotal role in shutting down opposing teams' forwards.

Offensive Defensemen

Offensive defensemen play a more aggressive style of play. Rather than playing a safe defensive game, offensive defensemen will typically join in on offensive rushes and try to generate scoring chances in the attacking zone.

Two-way Defensemen

Two-way defensemen are the complete package. Not only do they play well offensively, but they play well defensively as well. They are the most versatile breed of defensemen.

Defensemen Strategy

The capable defenseman is constantly moving with the puck on the ice. If the puck is far from the defensive zone, the defenseman will move closer to the neutral zone and attacking zone. A good defenseman anticipates the movement of the puck on the ice and uses his whole body to block a shot on goal.

Defenseman Statistics

Defensemen are defined by stats such as Goals (G), Assists (A), and Shots on Goal (S).

Top NHL Defensemen

The following lists some of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League by team:

Ray BourqueBoston Bruins
Nicklas LidstromDetroit Red Wings
Brian LeetchNew York Rangers
Brent BurnsSan Jose Sharks
Drew DoughtyLos Angeles Kings
Victor HedmanTampa Bay Lightning
Shayne GostisbeherePhiladelphia Flyers


What does a defenseman do in hockey?

A defenseman helps the goalie and blocks shots on goal in the defensive zone. Defensemen also play an offensive role when their team has the puck in the offensive zone.

What equipment do you need to play defenseman in hockey?

As a defenseman, you need the standard hockey equipment: a helmet, jersey, stick, pads, and visor to protect your eyes from getting hit by the puck.