Posted by Greg Carter
Watching Jaromir Jagr pass Gordie Howe for third on the all-time points list is nothing short of a historic moment in the NHL. 743 goals and 1,107 assists. That is simply amazing. When you watch Jagr’s highlight reel goals it becomes evident very quickly that he has great hands, incredible vision on the ice and can shoot and pass the puck with awesome accuracy.
So what can youth hockey players learn from a player like Jagr? There is plenty in his bag of tricks to borrow from, and here are a few of the best.
A Great Teammate. Jagr has played with 8 different teams during his NHL career. Along the way he has played with literally hundreds of players and when you ask them about Jagr, they all say the same thing; incredible talent and great teammate who makes everyone around him better. It’s one thing to have the skill and the will, it’s another thing to want to share it with everyone around you. Great players truly do make everyone around them better.
A Nose for the Net. An old coach used to preach all the time that it doesn’t matter how it goes in, only that it goes in. While Jagr has had plenty of highlight reel goals, he has also scored a lot by simply being in the right place at the right time to bang home a rebound or to redirect a shot. Get to the net and good things will happen!
Outstanding Anticipation. Parents at hockey school ask me all the time about how to teach players to anticipate the game. The reality is that you can’t teach anticipation, but the best players know where to be on the ice to make things happen. The really good players don’t go to where the puck is, they go to where the puck will end up.
I know we said top 3, but this one is a bonus.
Stickhandling. Again, Jagr has had plenty of highlight reel goals during his career and it just never gets old watching the dangles and dekes. If there is one thing players can do this summer to really take their game to the next level it is stickhandling. Whether it’s a puck on the ice or a ball in the driveway, the hand-eye coordination that it takes to master the skill of stickhandling is a lifetime worth of work. As I tell my own son, you can never shoot enough pucks or stickhandle long enough if you really want to be the best.
Perhaps what is most amazing in all of this is that even with over 1,850 points, Jagr is still more than 1,000 points from catching Wayne Gretzky who is number one on the list with 2,857 career points. More on that in a future article!
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at one of our camps this summer!