Hockey Shot Types

Ice Hockey Shot Types

Shooting the puck is a motion a player takes to push the puck with his hockey stick into the air or along the ice towards the opposing team's goal cage in hopes of having it go in the net. If the puck crosses the goal line of the goal cage, or into the net, a team earns a goal.

A shooter can be predominately a left-handed or right-handed shooter. Lefties typically play along the left side of the ice, while right-handed shooters play along the right side of the ice.

Playing on the wing of the ice that matches your dominant shooting side gives you a benefit of creating stronger angles on your shots.

What is a Shot?

A shot is an attempt at hitting the puck into the net or goal cage.

A shot on goal is a statistic that is recorded for an individual player or an ice hockey team. A shot on goal in hockey is a statistic recorded for an individual player as well as a team whenever a player shoots the puck at the opposing team's goal.

Each time a player shoots the puck at the opposing team's goal, it gets recorded. The shot gets recorded for the individual and the team.

List of Hockey Shots

Players have a lot of tools in their arsenal for scoring goals. There are many ways for a player to shoot the puck:

  • Wrist Shots
  • Backhand Shot
  • One-Timers
  • Slap Shots
  • Snap Shots

Wrist Shots

ice hockey Wrist Shot

A wrist shot is a type of shot in ice hockey that is a fast and sudden movement, requiring the skater to flick his wrists lifting the puck into the air with his stick towards the net. Wrist shots are great when players are close to the net and want to surprise goalies on which direction of the net they are shooting.

Backhand Shots

Ice Hockey Backhand Shot

A backhand shot is a shot in ice hockey where the player will use the back-portion of the stick to shoot the puck. It all depends on if a player is right-handed or left-handed and the type of stick they are using.


Ice Hockey One Timer

While the puck is in motion towards a teammate from a pass, an offensive player is winding up his swing timing the upcoming shot on goal. This is called a one-timer and requires a strong sense of timing and anticipation. One-timers are great for surprising the opposing team's players and goalie and giving them little time to react to the upcoming shot.

Slap Shots

Ice Hockey Slap Shot

A slap shot in ice hockey is like a one-timer, except that it is not timed off a pass. Instead, an offensive player will wind up his swing and shoot the puck with intense force. Slap shots are very difficult to defend against.

Offensive players should utilize slap shots when they have plenty of time and are near the blue line in the attacking zone.

Snap Shots

Ice Hockey Snap Shot

A snap shot is like a wrist shot in that the offensive player has a small windup and a quick release of the puck. The only difference is that a snap shot doesn't have to utilize a flick of the wrists. Snap shots are a great shot selection from anywhere in the attacking zone.


What is different between a wrist shot and a snap shot?

While wrist shots and snap shots may look similar on the ice, they actually require different motions from the athlete. The force from a wrist shot comes from the wrist of an athlete; they will snap their wrist while holding the stick to force the puck across the ice. Meanwhile, a snap shot does not use the wrist. Instead, the athlete will use their whole arm to send the ball away.

How can I practice different types of hockey shots?

There is a crazy amount of shooting drills available for hockey players to improve their shots. The internet is full of tutorials and lists of drills that coaches have come up with in order to help their players. Some common drills include stationary shot drills where players shoot at the goal from predetermined locations on the ice, and shooting in stride drills where athletes practice shooting while in motion.