U13 Player Pathways

Development is at the core of U13 hockey, with the focus on refining skills so players will experience success in practices and games. Looking at how kids learn, and the number of repetitions of specific skills and situations that occur in practice versus a game, practice is where players have a chance to develop the most.

U13 hockey should be delivered through a progressive, learn-to-play teaching curriculum that is age-appropriate and skill-specific for 11-12-yearolds. It is a continuous opportunity for young players to develop and refine fundamental movement skills (skating, turning, acceleration), manipulation skills (shooting, puck control, passing) and overall motor skills (balance, coordination, agility) and checking skills (stick checks, angling, body contact) in a fun and safe environment, promoting skill development through self-confidence.
When players continue on a positive note, they enjoy the game and will go on to have fun playing hockey for many years.

Preparation Skates

There is a substantial benefit for children to have the opportunity to participate in ice sessions prior to formal selection or evaluation. Players feel more relaxed and are able to perform at a higher level, compared to being evaluated in their first time back on the ice. By providing these opportunities, players are placed in a situation where stress has been mitigated and they are able to showcase their ability.

Preparation Practice Plans (click to view practice plans)

The drills in these practice plans are designed to give coaches some ideas on getting their players ready for player selection / tryouts by incorporating a multitude of skills required to play the game. There are 4 practice plans in this series that include key teaching points as well as key evaluation points to provide insight on the details within the drills.
The plan is based on 50 minutes so depending on the length of the ice time, the suggested time to run each drill can be adapted to fit the ice time. Where longer ice times are provided coaches can add drills / games of their own.

Player Selection and Evaluation

Player Evaluation / Selection/ tryouts must be a minimum of three formal sessions

  • This is a key part of a player's hockey experience
  • Players need a fair chance to be evaluated - a standard process will show transparency and consistency.
  • Will provide coaches with the basis of a development plan based on a solid and quantifiable evaluation.


This methodology allows players to showcase their abilities over a longer period of time in three different aspects of competency. Different players will excel in the three different evaluation scenarios and collectively will provide coaches with a more complete snapshot of a player’s overall abilities in order to make a more informed decision on selecting players for their teams. The different evaluation scenarios will also provide coaches with a better opportunity to develop a more comprehensive development plan for the individual player as well as the team overall.


U13 Evaluation skates are based on the same skills, concepts and drills that are used at the Hockey Canada U17 Male National Team camp to assess player strengths and deficiencies. This assessment will not only help place players on teams, but also help to form the basis of the development plan for the coach at the beginning of the year.

Evaluation Practice Plans (click to view practice plans)