What Is A Grinder In Hockey?

Ice Hockey Grinder

A grinder is a player known to be extremely hard-working and strategically physical on the ice. They typically lack recognition due to their scarcity of goals and flashy offensive plays. However, they are considered to be one of the most important roles on any hockey team.

This type of player is a workhorse and shows pure grit to win the puck back. A grinder's responsibility is to pressure their opponents to create turnovers using their physical body or stick by separating the attacking player from the puck. This player is determined to battle for possession, create scoring opportunities for their teammates, and consistently apply tenacious pressure on the forecheck. Grinders tend to make big hits on the ice to create momentum for their team. They aren't afraid to get physical, but are defensively responsible and make sure to not be out of position. Grinders are the glue of the team!


What is a power forward in hockey?

A power forward is essential on the ice. They not only bring a physical presence to the team, but they are skilled on the puck. A power forward is responsible for protecting the puck, creating and finishing offensive opportunities, and being around the crease during power plays. Power forwards tend to be physical on the ice and create momentum for their team with big hits on opponents. Therefore, many grinders are categorized as power forwards!

What does the term "good stick" mean in hockey?

Many NHL players, specifically the grinders, discuss how the team and coaches preach to have a good stick all over the ice. As a grinder, you want to keep your defensive position, but also create separation between your opponent and the puck. Therefore, a good stick means to focus on deflecting or tipping the puck before hitting a player! However, if there is a good angle, grinders try to follow through and make a hit.

How is a grinder different from an enforcer?

An enforcer is known to start fights, protect their teammates, and use intimidation as a part of their game. A grinder is a different style of player. While the roles are both physical, a grinder has a more defensive strategy and doesn't rely on fights to prove their worth. They are scrappy and hard-working players on the boards. Grinders will only make a hit if it is necessary and the right timing in a game.

What is the defensive strategy of forechecking?

Grinders are known to be strong at forechecking and consistently pressure the offensive team in their defensive end. If a team has a strong forecheck, they will be able to put pressure on their opponents and make it very difficult to build out of their end. This defensive strategy leads to more forced passes and neutral turnovers on the ice. Grinders are strong skaters that are wired to relentlessly pursue their opponent to force turnovers.