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What to look for in a goal scorer?

08/05/2013 at 9:48am EDT

On August 4, 1921, a goal scorer by the name of Joseph Henri Maurice "The Rocket" Richard was born. "The Rocket" is also the name of trophy that is awarded to the winner of the goal scoring title, so what a better day to talk about goal scoring than today. At this moment I'm currently taking a Hockey GM and Scouting, so I will share with you my knowledge on what makes a goal scorer so great.

Accuracy: If you want to be a goal scorer in this league, it is a really nice skill to have to be able to be able to make the right choice as to where to shoot, and also being about to hit the target. He needs to be able to have his hands in good positioning, and with his eyes on the target at hand. He's also going to have know whether he's going to use a wrist shot, or snap shot. Being able to anticipate the goaltender's movement within a fraction of a second. Being able to predict the goalies movement, all critical.

Eye-hand coordination: Rarely in a game will the puck sit perfectly flat on the ice, in position so tee off like a golfer.A good shooter can get a good shot off with puck rolling on it's, and can use the heel, or the toe of his blade. A lot of goal scorers will have teammates during practice feed them pass in their skates. For example, a guy like Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks, as long as you pass it to him within his orbit, he'll be able to get a shot on net.

Release: If you want to make a goalies life as miserable as it possibly can be, a nice quick release that's tough to project will accomplish that. With lesser ability it's obvious to everyone in the building to see where the shooter is going to shoot. Being able to shoot the puck without telegraphing it is found often found in every great scorer and shooter. Mike Bossy, the best shooter of all time, was the best at this. Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings is one of the top 10 goal scorers in the NHL, he's scored exactly one goal using a slap shot. Being able to have a quick release, while still having you skates in stride, rather than only being able to while in perfect position, is needed.

Hockey sense: You can get away with not being a good skater. Corey Perry, Pavel Datsyuk, Luc Robitaille, John Tavares, have all reached the plateau of being one of the top 5 goal scorers in NHL at a point in time, but skating wise, non of those names were not that good. Without good hockey sense, all your other skills won't matter. You have to be poised and confident with the puck. Also to have patients and have the ability to find the open ice available. It's to also take advantage of oppurtunities and take advantage of those oppurtunities. Having to make the best choices under duress.

Natural Ability: If anyone could be a goal scorer, than we would all be goal scorers, unfortunately for all of us, we don't all have that natural ability. Knowing when to shoot, being poised, knowing how to react at full speed in a in game situation, are not teachable intagibles. One of Wayne Gretzky's great abilities was to be a step or two ahead of everyone else on the ice, that again comes natural. Guys like Teemu Selanne and Luc Robitaille, they are brilliant at being at the right place at the right time to be able to tip is a very unique special skill that not everyone has.

With all that said, I think it's time for some birthday wishes, so, Happy Birthday to The Rocket!

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