Shoulder pads are most important when one player is checking another player. Because checks are meant to be driven by shoulder-to-shoulder contact, shoulder pads are critical to player safety. If a player illegally checks another player in the head, the tough shoulder pad can do a lot of dangerous damage.
There are many different brands of shoulder pads, such as Bauer, Reebok, Warrior, CCM, and Under Armor. For Junior and Intermediate level players, shoulder pads typically cost between $30-$150. For Senior level players, shoulder pads usually range in cost from $50-$200.