Each position has a different role on the ice and set of responsibilities. The forwards (center and wingers) are attacking positions and have a goal of shooting on the other team's goal. The defensemen help the goalie by preventing players on the other team from entering the defensive zone. The goalie is the last line of defense for stopping goals from going into the net.
A center's role is often as the best defensive forward on the line. Center's are responsible for taking faceoffs at the various face-off circles around the ice and helping to patrol the defensive zone.
A right winger's role is to line up on the right side of a center during a faceoff. A right winger is responsible for patrolling the right side of the ice in the defensive zone, and to keep an eye on the opposing team's left defender.
A right defenseman has a job to prevent the left winger on the other team from scoring. Right defensemen are positioned behind the right winger.
The role of the left defenseman is to patrol the left side of the ice and serve as the last line of defense from the other team scoring a goal.
There are two team captains on a hockey team called the captain and alternate captain. The captain wears the letter "C" on the jersey. The alternate captain wears the letter "A" on the jersey. The captain of the team is responsible for interpreting the rules of the game and discussing calls with the referee if there is a disagreement.
Team captains can not be goalies. If the captain is in the penalty box, unable to play, or not on the ice the alternate captain is in charge. Teams can have two or three alternate captains if the captain is not in the game.
Forwards in hockey are a group of players consisting of the center and wingers. Forwards are responsible for scoring goals, and being aggressive with the puck in the attacking zone.
When a team is on offense, all of their players are working together to score a goal. They do this by keeping control of the puck in the offensive zone.
When on defense, the players on the team are helping the goalie by keeping the puck out of the defensive zone. They are also trying to force a turnover by checking, intercepting, and blocking shots on goal.
Yes, these are called line changes. Throughout a hockey game, players go to the bench and another set of players take their place on the ice. Line changes can happen at any time in a game.
All positions in hockey are worth exploring and trying out. As a center, you get to take faceoffs. As a winger you'll have the chance to score a lot of goals. If you choose to play defenseman you'll be making lots of passes and blocking shots on goal. Finally, as a goalie you'll have all the pressure on you to stop shots by opposing players. This is one of the hardest positions to play and the blame can often rest on the goalie.