How Fast Do Hockey Players Skate?


How fast do professional hockey players skate? Professional hockey players can reach impressive speeds on the ice. On average, they skate at speeds ranging from 20 to 30 miles per hour (32 to 48 kilometers per hour). However, some players with exceptional speed and skating abilities can reach even higher speeds, approaching 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) during a game.

Hockey Players Skating Speed:

ScenarioSpeed Range (in mph)
Maximum Skating Speed20 – 30
Average Skating Speed15 – 20
Top NHL Skater20 – 30+
NHL All-Star Skills Comp25 – 35+
Fastest Recorded Skater29.9


What is the fastest recorded speed by a hockey player?

The fastest recorded speed by an NHL player, as officially tracked, is 22.9 miles per hour (36.9 kilometers per hour). However, it’s important to note that these measurements are taken during games and may not represent a player’s absolute top speed. Some players may achieve higher speeds during practice or in non-official settings.

How does a hockey player’s speed compare to other sports?

Hockey players are known for their impressive speed, which compares favorably to many other sports. While they may not reach the top speeds of athletes in sports like track and field or cycling, hockey players often excel in short bursts of acceleration, quick turns, and agility on the ice. Their speed, combined with their ability to handle a puck, make them formidable competitors.

Do all hockey players skate at the same speed?

No, not all hockey players skate at the same speed. Speed can vary among players due to factors such as individual skill level, skating technique, physical fitness, and position on the team. For example, forwards generally prioritize speed to be able to quickly move up and down the ice, while defensemen may focus more on positioning and agility.

Can female hockey players skate as fast as male players?

Female hockey players can skate at significant speeds and compete at high levels. While there may be differences in average speed between male and female players due to physiological factors, individual skill, and training, there are many female players who exhibit impressive speed on the ice. The growth of women’s hockey has led to advancements in speed and skill across the sport.

How do hockey players develop their skating speed?

Hockey players develop their skating speed through a combination of regular practice, off-ice conditioning, and specific training drills. Skating technique, leg strength, explosive power, and overall fitness are crucial factors in improving speed. Skating coaches and trainers often work with players to enhance their stride efficiency, acceleration, and top speed through targeted exercises and drills.

Are there any speed-enhancing equipment or techniques used by hockey players?

Hockey players primarily rely on their skating skills and physical abilities to enhance their speed. However, advancements in skate design and blade technology have provided players with equipment that can optimize their performance on the ice. Additionally, players may use techniques such as crossovers, quick starts, and proper weight distribution to maximize their speed and agility during games.

Are there any specific factors that can affect a hockey player’s skating speed?

Yes, several factors can influence a hockey player’s skating speed. Some of these factors include their technique, stride length, leg strength, agility, balance, body position, equipment (such as skate blades and boots), ice conditions, and the player’s overall fitness level.

How do hockey players improve their acceleration on the ice?

Hockey players work on improving their acceleration through various training methods. This includes exercises that focus on explosive power, leg strength, and quick transitions. They also practice techniques such as quick starts, cross-overs, and using their edges efficiently to generate maximum speed from a standstill position.

Do larger players tend to skate slower than smaller players in hockey?

Generally, larger players may have more mass to move and therefore may appear to skate slower compared to smaller players. However, this is not always the case, as there are many factors at play. Larger players can still possess excellent speed and agility, depending on their skill level, technique, and physical conditioning.

Can a player’s age affect their skating speed in hockey?

Age can have an impact on a player’s skating speed to some extent. Younger players often have more energy and natural athleticism, which can contribute to faster skating speeds. However, older players can compensate with experience, refined technique, and improved efficiency in their strides. It’s important to note that individual variances exist, and there are older players who can still skate at impressive speeds.

Are there any speed records or competitions specifically for hockey players?

While there are no official speed records or competitions solely dedicated to hockey player speed, the NHL All-Star Skills Competition includes an event called the “Fastest Skater” where players compete to determine the fastest skater in the league. This event measures the players’ speed over a specific distance, usually one lap around the rink.

How does a hockey player’s speed affect their overall performance in the game?

Speed is a crucial aspect of a hockey player’s performance. Faster skaters can chase down loose pucks, win races to the puck in the corners, create breakaways, and outmaneuver opponents. Speed allows players to quickly transition between offense and defense, capitalize on scoring opportunities, and cover more ground effectively. It can be a significant advantage in creating scoring chances and disrupting the opposing team’s play.

How do you skate faster in hockey?

To skate faster in hockey, here is a step-by-step guide:

Proper Skating Stance: Start with a balanced and athletic stance. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and distribute your weight evenly on both skates. This stance provides a solid foundation for generating power and speed.

Strong Push-offs: Generate power by pushing off with your back leg while extending it fully. Focus on driving your leg back and pushing against the ice with force. This will propel you forward and initiate acceleration.

Stride Length: Lengthen your strides to cover more ground with each push. Extend your leg fully and reach as far as comfortably possible while maintaining control. The longer stride will help increase your speed.

Quick Recovery: After extending your leg for a powerful push, quickly bring it back underneath your body for the next stride. The recovery should be swift, maintaining a constant rhythm and minimizing the time your foot spends off the ice.

Utilize Edges: Understand and utilize the inside and outside edges of your skate blades. When taking turns or changing direction, lean into the inside edge of the skate on the turn, which allows for sharper and more efficient turns without losing momentum.

Crossover Technique: Practice crossovers to maximize speed during turns and maintain momentum. When turning, cross one foot over the other, using the inside edge of the crossing foot to push off and gain speed. Alternate between legs to maintain a smooth and continuous motion.

Arm Movement: Coordinate your arm movements with your leg strides. Swing your arms in a controlled manner, opposite to your leg movements, to generate additional momentum. Keep your arms bent at the elbows and maintain a relaxed but purposeful swing.

Core Strength: Develop a strong core to stabilize your body and transfer power efficiently from your legs to the ice. Engage your abdominal muscles and maintain a stable torso while skating. This stability enhances your ability to generate speed.

Skating Technique and Efficiency: Work on refining your skating technique. Seek feedback from coaches or experienced skaters to ensure you are using proper form and eliminating any unnecessary movements or energy waste.

Off-Ice Conditioning: Engage in off-ice training to improve your overall speed and endurance. Incorporate exercises that target leg strength, explosive power, and cardiovascular fitness. Strong muscles and endurance will support your speed on the ice.

Remember, developing speed takes time, practice, and consistent effort. Focus on mastering each step and gradually increasing your speed over time. Regular practice, conditioning, and maintaining good skating habits will lead to noticeable improvements in your skating speed.

Factors That Affect Skating Speed

  1. Skating Technique: Proper stride mechanics and body positioning.
  2. Leg Strength and Power: Strong quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
  3. Explosiveness and Quickness: Ability to generate rapid bursts of speed.
  4. Balance and Agility: Maintaining stability and maneuverability on the ice.
  5. Body Size and Weight: Smaller players often have an advantage in acceleration.
  6. Skates and Equipment: Properly fitted skates with well-maintained blades.
  7. Ice Conditions: Smooth ice surfaces provide better glide and speed.
  8. Fitness and Conditioning: Overall physical fitness and stamina.
  9. Experience and Skill Level: Practice and refinement of skating skills.
  10. Mental Factors: Confidence, focus, and mental preparedness.


Hockey players possess incredible skating abilities, reaching impressive speeds on the ice. By understanding the factors that affect their velocity and implementing proper techniques, players can strive for enhanced speed and agility, propelling themselves to new heights in the exhilarating world of hockey.

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