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W: Wrist Shot

12U players tend to start working on different types of shots, which is important for their future development, but the wrist shot is still king and always will be, even in the NHL. What starts to deviate at 12U is the technique with which kids shoot the wrist shot.

When players are young, they tend to shoot off their strong foot and use good weight transfer into the shot. Their lack of strength forces them to shoot with better technique. As they get older, players tend to begin to shoot off their weak foot. This results in a weaker shot.

It's important that 12U players remain diligent about using good technique with the wrist shot. It’s the player's most effective goal-scoring weapon. Want proof?

According to data from Kevin McGran and the Toronto Star, there were 80,117 shots on goal in the 2013-14 NHL season, resulting in 7,051 goals, a success rate (shooting percentage) of 8.8 percent. That means goalies save 91.2 percent of the shots on goal (save percentage). This doesn’t even factor in shots that get blocked or miss the net. And what type of shots beat the goalies?

  • Wrist shot – 49.5 percent of all NHL goals
  • Snap shot – 14.8 percent of all NHL goals
  • Slap shot – 12.2 percent of all NHL goals (most are one-timers)
  • Backhand – 9.9 percent of all NHL goals
  • Tips/deflections – 12.7 percent of all NHL goals
  • Wraparounds – 0.9 percent of all NHL goals

So what is the proper wrist shot technique? Watch the video at right to see the mechanics in detail.