While having great overall top speed is a desirable attribute for a hockey player, the ability to accelerate quickly is even more important.
Hockey is a game that requires many quick short sprints and changes in direction. The players who accelerate the fastest give themselves a huge advantage in winning the race to loose pucks, pressuring an opponent or avoiding a checking defender. This type of acceleration can be improved through both on- and off-ice training. Learn more by watching this presentation on acceleration by Darryl Nelson, strength and conditioning coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.