Evaluations Guide for Players and Evaluators

All drills are designed to show right and left sides. Skaters are instructed to face a certain direction when they need to turn, stop, etc. A player can be assumed to not have the appropriate skill if they do not do the drill correctly, therefore not exhibiting the skill being evaluated. All skills are rated in relation to the established middle level players on the ice.

Sample Evaluation Form >

All skaters are given 5 minutes to warm-up. This is not to be evaluated. Hopefuls will then be asked to line up so evaluators can find their players. All skaters will then be allowed to skate a lap. This lap is not to be evaluated and is for warm-up purposes only.

The drills will be run in the following order. You will see the drill name, followed by what skills you might be looking for in bold. A more in depth look to help with the scoring follows the skills.

Red Division Placement Drills

Transition drill: start forward, transition at blue lines
  • Forward and backwards skating, transitions, edge control, balance
  • Skater should be able to transition from forward to backward skating and backward to forward skating while maintaining speed. A score of 3 or above requires that the player can transition while maintaining speed. Transition may not be smooth, but gets the job done. A player that needs to stop or slow significantly in order to transition from one direction to the other shall be evaluated as being deficient — a 2 or 1. Be sure to look at benchmarks to see how they do.
Speed drill: as fast as possible forward, stop on far goal line
  • Forward skating, balance, speed
  • Compare to other skaters in the line. 5 — faster than the other people in the line. 3 — matches the middle level skaters in their line. 1 — slower than the other middle level skaters in their line.
Ladder drill
  • Forward skating, stops and starts, edge-control, balance
  • Player must stop. Not making a complete stop is not exhibiting the skill. A turn does not count as a stop. There are multiple ways to stop, so be aware that the drill evaluates the ability to stop, not how they stop.
    • Use ‘lots’ of ice to stop: Begins stop 1-2 feet from point designated
    • Mastered stopping well on one side, other side is weaker but functional
      • Hockey stop on one side, not a snow plow stop with both feet
      • Weaker still means a hockey stop though shaky, it does not mean “no stop” such as gliding through a turn or a power turn
    • Able to step out in new direction, though not rapidly
      • Steps out with lead foot or crosses over stationary foot in new direction
      • No glide or power turn
  • Secondary to stopping is where they fit in with your benchmarks. A person who finishes the drill fastest, but does not do complete stops should be evaluated closer to a 2 than a 4 or 5.
Forward crossovers: full circles
  • Forward skating, edge control, crossovers, balance
  • This drill evaluates how well the skater can do crossovers, not how fast they can skate around the circle. Watch that the skater is actually crossing over, or attempting to crossover by picking up both feet, and not just pushing like a scooter around the circles. Red skaters tend to have wide slow turns – may not use crossovers consistently. They can complete crossover on at least on one side, not stepping by foot or just ahead of the foot, but full step over balancing foot. A player who passes people, but is not doing a crossover should be evaluated closer to a 2 than a 4 or 5.
Backwards: across width of ice
  • Backwards skating, balance
  • Crossovers are not evaluated for this level. Evaluate the skater based on how she compares to the benchmarks in terms of speed, ability to go backwards.
Static shooting: forehand and backhand shots
  • Shooting accuracy, shot speed
  • Emphasis should be on accuracy, speed and consistency. Do not evaluate what the skater looks like when they shoot. Focus on whether or not they can hit the net with their shot consistently and with speed (compared to the benchmarks). Mastered one forehand shot using proper technique – can aim shot. Still lacks strength on shot: Can be slightly weaker than benchmark strength but should be close.
Slalom drill: with puck, shoot from top of circle, show all shots you have
  • Forward skating, edge control, puck control, shooting, awareness
  • You are evaluating both the skater’s ability to skate through the cones with speed while controlling the puck and how well they shoot on the goalie. For skating through the cones, watch that the player maintains control of the puck while going around the cones. Also watch if the player can maintain speed as they go around the cones. If they have to slow down considerably in order to maintain control of the puck should result in a lower score. (Unless that matches the benchmarks for the given level.) For shooting, look for accuracy and speed/power and variety of shots.
Give and go drill: shoot from top of circle, show all shots you have
  • Forward skating, puck control, giving and receiving passes, shooting
  • Look for the player’s ability to pass and receive the puck while moving. The passing should be level appropriate. Red level passing is more apt to be slower. Focus should be on the passing being to the stick to the player they are passing to, and how well they can receive a puck, maintaining control and continuing to skate while receiving the puck. Can they adjust to a bad pass?
Horseshoe drill: show all shots you have
  • Forward skating, puck control, giving and receiving passes, shooting
  • This drill evaluates the skater’s ability to pass the puck, receive the puck and take a shot. Look for a pass that is to the players stick with speed and accuracy. A pass that is just thrown to an area at a slow speed is not as good as a pass that is sent with some speed directed to the other player’s stick. On the receiving end, is the player able to catch the pass and maintain control? Can they adjust to a pass that isn’t quite on line? How is their shot? Is it hard and accurate? Can they demonstrate more than one shot?
Scrimmage: hopefuls choose forward or defense
  • Forward skating, puck control, giving and receiving passes, shooting
  • The scrimmage is designed to evaluate all of the skills that were evaluated earlier, but in a different setting. Be aware that some people drill very well, but those skills may not transfer in a game situation. The reverse may also be true, so be sure to pay attention to your player in both situations. Are they still doing crossovers, or can they all of a sudden do crossovers? During the game, there are many things you should be watching. Shift length: too long or too short may show a lack of understanding of how lines work, or may show someone not able to keep up with the level of play. Game play: Does the player understand positioning, and basic game rules like offside and icing? Is the player able to make a play to their teammate? Just because a player can make a safe play like throwing the puck up the boards and out of the zone from the D zone, doesn’t mean that they made the best play. If they had two players on their own team open but didn’t see them to make a pass, it might indicate that they are not at the appropriate level. Does the player ice the puck when unnecessary? Can they keep up with the play or are they always hanging back, coming in late to the play? Do they forecheck and backcheck? Do they skate with their head up and are aware of the other players around them? Can they make a pass to an open player?