Getting into Position: Hockey | SportsEngine

There are four basic positions in hockey that require unique skills and responsibilities. Players 10 and under often rotate positions to better understand the game and what makes them happiest. As players mature, they tend to devote more time and attention to one position.

Ice surface with logos for each position
Circle to represent position on sheet


Centers take tackles to start the game and resume stops and split their time between attack and defense. Centers are free to roam the entire ice to support their teammates, while other positions tend to stay on one side of the ice.

Diamond representing positions on ice

Right and left wing

Wings or “wingers” are offensive-minded players who tend to stick to the left or right side of the ice in the defensive zone. While their main duties are to score goals and maintain possession, they also help out defensively by covering the top half of their defensive zones.

Shield to represent positions on ice


Defenders are also divided into right and left backs, based largely on their preferred shooting hand. His main goal is to avoid shots on net by placing himself between the opposing players and their goalkeeper. These players skate backwards as well as forwards and use their sticks and bodies to knock opposing players off the puck.

Triangle to represent the goalkeepers in the example


The goalkeeper’s role is simple: keep the puck out of the net. Goalies use heavy padding, a large glove, and a wide stick to avoid the shots they face. These players rarely venture more than a few feet from the net.

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