Initially, the origin of this article topic came from a conversation with a hockey buddy of mine. This many-season experienced (decades) skater asked me for the goalie’s perspective on what makes hockey players a solid asset to a team. There is no exact single element, was the short answer. But it led to some thought on how many aspects there are in this complex game of ice hockey.
The dual list (offensive and defensive) that is described below contains the same major points but is different in functionality for on-the-ice skills.
“Parametric ratings” sounds like a fancy ‘construct’ but it consists of a set of categories to rate the skills of a player by several athletic aspects of the game of hockey.
This is not an official scoring system. But perhaps it can be a start toward a quantifiable dimension of hockey player evaluation. The actual scoring scale can, of course, be modified to a different numeric value across the four parameters.
I’ve divided it into offensive and defensive; the generic actions (as parameters) involved are categorized the same for both aspects of offensive and defensive:
= sense of team
The most complex of these factors is–you guessed it–position. That’s because the position can be on almost any part of the surface of the 200x 85-foot area (nearly 19,000 square feet), minus the blue-paint crease and inside the goal areas.
Note: with the sometimes-overlooked puck blocking/puck intercepting factor of one’s hockey stick, most defensive plays are accomplished with that two-and-one-half inch x ten inches part– the stick blade, front side, or backside!
Offensive & Defensive Skills:
1 – skating (speed) — frontward____
(maneuverability) — sudden turns ____
“skid” stops ____
2 – stick — shooting:
lob shots ____
blocking: interceptions ____
3 – position –movement and re-spotting
offensively / forward _____
defensively / backward ____
4 – “Sense of Team.”
This element happens on the ice & off the ice. It’s the stuff that the “C”s (captains) and “A”s (assistant captains) are made of!
Scale of 1 to 10 points ________ (subjective, but see scenario 1 & 2 as examples). This fourth skill is a challenge to one’s self but loosely goes like this:
Scenario 1: Player F has the chance for an almost certain goal to score but has a teammate wide open to score also.
Does player F shoot for themselves or pass it over to the teammate?
Scenario 2: A defensive play is possible where player F can do it, yet there is a significant risk of injury by players who make the on-ice move in question. Player F is known to decide to risk that injury, placing the outcome of team performance over his own safety and not merely some reckless actions.
Scenarios like these two are tough to keep an ongoing score tally on, but we all know those players who have these tendencies and the skillset to make the exceptionally talented play of the moment. The general question becomes how much personal risk is acceptable and does the hockey player actually have those essential skills to accomplish the bold challenges?
As a disclaimer of sorts (not to cause unnecessary team in-fighting), these ratings would be for the coach’s own planning use, and even possible one-on-one assessment talks with each individual player, but definitely not to publicly post up the actual rating scores.
If the head coach has the presence of one or more assistant coaches, he could ask each assistant coach to make similar ratings of their own, for perhaps an average on each player’s scores.