player tips



In a recent article we talked about Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s all-time scoring record and lessons youth hockey players can learn from watching this chase unfold over the next few years. After a dozen or so games this season, the excitement has only continued to build.

While scoring goals garner the headlines – and in the case of Ovechkin another notch closer the record – assists and great passes can be equally impressive and exciting. 

Great players know where teammates are on the ice and great passers have the ability to put the puck on their stick: stretch passes that spring players into the offensive zone to split the defensemen are just as exciting as the goal itself. Tic-tac-toe passes that force the goalie to move laterally across the goal crease allowing for an easy tap in are as pretty as it gets.

Saucer passes across a sprawling defenseman’s stick landing perfectly flat on a linemate’s stick should be an ESPN Top 10 every time. Full-stride tape-to-tape passes heading up ice that leave a defender spinning like a top, is just as fun to watch as the puck crossing the goal line.

Precision passing is a skill that just like any other, requires practice, practice, and more practice. Youth hockey players should focus on the fundamentals of passing such as keeping your head up and proper form and follow through. Mechanics are important to passing, but one of the greatest passers said it best ‘great passers don’t miss the tape, just like great goal scorers don’t miss the net.’ 

As your youth hockey season gets underway, focus on making great passes – precision passes – every time.  Too often practices and drills lose their flow because of errant passes. The drill stops, players get back in line and the opportunity is lost. A great coach once said that players need to work as hard as making a great pass as they do taking a great shot on a goal.

This season pass with purpose and pass with precision! 

Thanks for reading and good luck with the start of your season!  If you are starting to think about youth hockey schools for the Summer of 2022, so are we! Stay tuned HERE for dates and locations!

This article first appeared in the Massachusetts Hockey Newsletter.
Greg Carter Hockey School is a proud partner of Mass. Hockey, the governing body of youth hockey in Massachusetts.



Learning From The Best

Posted by Greg Carter

Youth hockey players have a great opportunity to learn this season from the NHL greats. Alex Ovechkin enters the 2021-22 season with 730 goals. Wayne Gretzky scored 894 goals, leaving the Washington Capitals superstar 165 away from surpassing The Great One as the games greatest goal scorer. 

It’s worth noting (or reminding) that Gretzky also had 1,963 assists totalling 2,857 total points. Those numbers were long believed to be carved into the record book in stone, and untouchable!

While the NHL superstar is beyond the peak of his career, and would need to score at a record pace for an older player, there are plenty not only cheering for him, but firmly believing he can accomplish the once unimaginable.

What can youth hockey players learn from this pursuit of greatness?   

Listen to how the superstar is approaching it all: 
“Let’s don’t look too far,” Ovechkin said. “Game by game, step by step.”
This is something all great coaches tell great players and great teams!

Listen to his teammates:
“I absolutely think it’s realistic,” said Nicklas Backstrom. “If anyone can do it, it’s him. That’s the kind of hunger he’s got, and that’s the kind of goal-scorer he is.”
Great players have confidence and those around them develop that confidence. Great players always remain hungry. 

Listen to The Great One:
“He’s definitely got a legitimate shot,” Gretzky said. “I’m one of his biggest fans, and it’s only good for the game if he can break the record. He just has to be relaxed, and it’s going to take two, three, four years but eventually he’s probably going to break the record.”
How many youth, prep, college or professional players would be a cheerleader for someone chasing their record? Respect in the highest regard and something all players should emulate! 

“I’m going to try (my) best,” said Ovechkin. “That’s why I want to play five more years. To have a chance to catch the ‘Great One,’ why not?” “If I’m going to be second, it’s a pretty good number, as well.”

For the record, Ovechkin needs 72 goals for second place.

NHL All-Time Goal Scoring Records

Wayne Gretzky – 894
Gordie Howe – 801
Jaromir Jagr – 766
Brett Hull – 741
Marcel Dionne – 731
Alex Ovechkin – 730
For a full list, click here.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy the NHL season. There is a lot to be learned from the game’s greatest! Good luck with the start of your youth hockey season. For more articles, check out our Player Tips!



Let The Games Begin!

Posted by Greg Carter
Summer Hockey Camp in Summer Hockey Camp in Massachusetts

We hope that the start of your season goes as planned, whether that is tryouts which will start soon in many parts of the country, or first practices which is the case here in our home state of Massachuesetts. 

In our last article we talked about 3 Reasons for an Awesome Season including preparedness, desire and the band of brothers and sisters! Chasing Your Hockey Dreams and not being afraid to take chances (on the ice creatively) as well as pushing yourself outside your comfort zone with training and new opportunities often can lead to great things. Never be afraid to chase your dreams!

With the NHL preseason starting in a few days, it’s always a good idea for youth hockey players to watch what the best players in the world are doing on the ice. We like to say that The Great Ones Make It Look Easy and all of the most skilled hockey players have a hero or heroes that they look up to and try to emulate.

You might recall that a year ago we were in the midst of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Yes, hockey playoffs in September due to the pandemic! Our player tips talked about great teams winning one goal games, the fact that great players make great plays when it counts the most and that shuffling lines is not the end of the world. Keep this in mind as you start the 2021-22 youth hockey season! 

We wish you the best of luck with the start of your hockey season and hope that the skills you worked on at summer hockey school get you off to a great start. There will be ups and downs, highs and lows and remember to Focus On What You Can Control versus worrying about what you can’t.

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!



After a hockey year like no other and a long summer, it’s time we drop the puck on a normal youth hockey season. Players are ready to get back to a fresh sheet of ice. And, so too are parents, grandparents, friends and family who have missed watching youth hockey!

As you prepare for the start of the year, here are 3 great reasons you will have an awesome hockey season:


You and your coaches are prepared! If it’s one thing we know from last season, it’s that everyone is chomping at the bit to get back on the ice in a normal way. Coaches had plenty of time to think about drills, skills, practices and game strategies. Players had more time than ever to train, shoot pucks and work on every facet of their game. We know from past articles about the 6 P’s of preparation and this season everyone is roaring and ready to go!


Absence makes the heart (and passion) grow fonder. We saw this at our summer hockey schools. Players missed hockey and when they got to the rink, the smiles were bigger! The work ethic was higher! The desire to succeed and improve was awesome! You missed a lot of hockey last year, and this year it’s going to show just how much, along with how much your skills have improved!

Band of Brothers (And Sisters!)

Teamwork makes the dreamwork. We know that championship teams are tight on and off the ice. We also know that players miss their teammates and miss having the social dynamics. Getting to the rink with buddies and teammates is going to be more special than ever, which means that teams will gel and play together better than ever!

We hope you are as excited as we are for the start of the season and wish you nothing but the best as you lace up the skates. For more articles like this check out our Player Tips from our Pro Staff. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the rink soon! 



Chase Your Hockey Dream!

Posted by Greg Carter

“Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.”

Our 27th year of hockey camp was, in a word, awesome! We trained so many talented and hard working youth hockey players with dreams of playing at the next level. For some, that meant making the top team this winter. Some talked about winning the league championship this season. Others talked of playing prep hockey, college hockey and even in the NHL!

Whatever your hockey dream, now is the time to chase it. The skill level of youth hockey players is better than ever. Skating is faster, shots are harder and dreams are bigger! This season take what you learned at summer hockey school and continue to work on skills in all areas of your game. The best players with the biggest dreams never quit training and working on skills. When other players stop practicing shooting, they shoot another 100 pucks. They are the first to the rink and last to leave.

A coach once told me that what makes great hockey players is when raw talent intersects with an insatiable work ethic. 

This season get out there and chase your dream. Work hard to make it happen. Apply what you learned at summer hockey school and focus on skill areas that need improvement. Keep your eye on your dream and don’t ever give!

Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!


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