What is a One Timer in Ice Hockey?

A one timer is a hockey shot that takes place when a player shoots the puck as soon as a pass from their teammate reaches their stick, without attempting to control the puck at all. They are often very hard for a goalie to defend due to their speed and quick release.

The name of the game in hockey is scoring goals. While there are many shots players can take, a one timer can be one of the most effective. Perfecting them is hard, but hitting one accurately can catch the defense and goalie out of position and lead to an easy goal.

This guide is going to go over what a one timer is, the advantages it has over other shots, and how you can improve your one timers.

Key Takeaways

  • A one timer is a shot that occurs when a player shoots the puck as soon as they receive a pass from their teammates, without attempting to control or stop the puck at all.
  • There are many advantages of one timers such as not giving the goalie a lot of time to react, and the fact that the puck sees a very quick change of direction with a one timer.
  • If you want to improve your one timer, you need to practice shot timing, improve your balance and hand-eye coordination, get in the right position on the ice, and more.

What is a One Timer in Hockey?

A one timer is a shot that takes place when a player shoots the puck immediately after receiving a pass from a teammate, without stopping to control or reposition the puck. They are hard for a goalie to stop and require skill from both the shooter and the passer to get it right.

These can be both a slap shot or a wrist shot, depending on what the shooter prefers or what the situation calls for. A one timer that is finished like a wrist shot is likely to be more accurate, whereas a slap shot one timer will have a lot of power and speed.

During most NHL games, there is a good chance you will see at least a couple of one timers attempted.

The Benefits of a One Timer

There are many reasons why teams will attempt to use one timers instead of constantly relying on things like slap shots or wrist shots. The first benefit of a one timer is that they allow for an incredibly quick release.

These shots normally take a fraction of the time it would take for the shooter to control the puck and then shoot, which can be great for catching a goalie or defender out of position.

Another benefit is that they can cause a very quick change of direction for the puck. One second the puck is going sideways, and the next it is heading straight for the net. This makes it hard for opposing players to track the puck well, and gives no time for players to react.

One timers also generate more speed and power than shots taken when the puck is in a resting position. However, while one timers are beneficial when executed well, they can be quite inaccurate and aren’t always the right choice.

If a player has the time, sometimes controlling and moving the puck for a split second can result in a shot that has a better chance of scoring.

How to Improve Your One Timers

Now that you know all about the one timer, how can you improve yours? If you are playing hockey (whether competitively or recreationally) having a good one timer in your repertoire is always a good idea and makes you a more versatile player.

The first way to improve is simply by practicing your one timer. This can be done by having a friend pass you the puck, or using a rebounder. The more one timers you take, the better you will generally get at controlling them and getting more power behind each shot.

As far as what you should focus on when practicing these shots, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to ensure your balance is not only good, but your hand-eye coordination is on point so you can shoot the puck accurately the moment it touches your blade.

The timing of a one timer is crucial, so make an effort to shoot and follow through at the right time. If you are too early, the shot will be inaccurate and will lack power (or you may miss) and if you are too late, you give the goalie and defenders too much time to get in a better position.

Also, work on getting in a physical position on the ice that gives you the best chance of scoring. Scoring in hockey is all about angles, so position yourself in a place that makes it easy for your teammate to get you the puck, and gives you a clear shot at the net.

It may take some time and effort in order to get your timing and accuracy right, but the results are well worth it.


Here are a few commonly-asked questions about one timers in hockey, along with their answers.

What are other shots frequently used in hockey?

In addition to the one timer, shots like the slap shot and wrist shot are commonly used. A wrist shot is incredibly accurate and quick to release, while a slap shot is more powerful, but is harder to control. Slap shots are also generally taken from further back than wrist shots, too.

Who has the best one timer in the NHL?

While there are plenty of players in the NHL with incredible one timers, some of the best include David Pastrnak, Steven Stamkos, Patrik Laine, Alex Ovechkin, and Tage Thompson.

Final Thoughts

The one timer is one of the best shots in hockey, and can be a great way to catch opposing defenders and goalies off guard. I hope that this guide helped you learn what it is, why it is such a good shot, and how you can improve yours.

Is a one timer your favorite shot to take? Or do you prefer a classic wrist or slap shot? Let me know in a comment.

About Kale
Being from Canada, hockey is essentially a way of life. I instantly fell in love with the game since I was being put on skates. From playing as a child (and the occasional street hockey game with friends today) to being a fan for over 20 years, I’m here to share my knowledge and passion for hockey. Email: kale@hockeyhow.com

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