The art of the deke. It is something many players try but few master. It combines superior stickhandling with precise puck control and a quick shot. It is what fakes the defense and the goalie out of their skates and brings the crowd to its feet. Here we will discuss a few tips to become great a deking and some of the top deking moves that pros love and you should try and master.
What is a Deke?
A deke is a feint or a fake technique which is used to draw an opposing defender or goalie out of position. It is all about using deception to get the shot you want to get. If you are a righty and want to get a forehand shot, you want to make the defender believe you are going to the left to the backhand. To do this, you want to position the puck in line with your right foot. As you get close, fake the puck over in line with your left foot. If you’ve sold the deke correctly, your opponent’s skates turn in the wrong direction and you’ll be free to fire away!
Tips to Execute the Perfect Deke
Here are four parts of a deke, all of which must be mastered to become a great deker.
This is the position you put the puck in when you get close to the defender or goalie. It is the key to your whole deke. Think about where you want to end up and what deke you want to use. This will dictate the first position you take to fool your opponent.
This is where you pull the puck one way and the other to create confusion. Being a great stick handler and hiding the puck as best you can come in handy here. This part of the deke takes lots of practice. An off-ice stickhandling training set is perfect to help you become a deke-master.
Once you have done the faking with your stick, the deke is not over. In fact, it is just the beginning.
Once you have made your move, lateral separation is crucial. You need to create separation from the defender so they cannot poke check the puck away even after they have been beaten.
Players often pull off the deke move and have good separation, but the defender recovers and stops the play. Why? Because the player didn’t accelerate away from the opposition. After you have executed the deke move and you separate laterally, you need to accelerate quickly around the defense to get the inside position. If you do this correctly, you should be between the defender and the goalie. This is how you create great scoring opportunities. Training with dryland synthetic ice is a great way to build leg and core strength and increase acceleration.
Top Dekes to Master
Now that you know how to deke, here are the dekes you need to master.
- Quick Forehand to Backhand – Simple yet effective, it is a great first deke to learn. Try it with different styles of training pucks to master every aspect of it.
- 1-2-3 Move – Made famous by The Mighty Ducks movies, the “old triple deke” is just as effective in real life as it is in Hollywood.
- Fake Shot to Backhand – Whether you fake the goalie or the defender, this deke will make them commit and let you go around them.
- Toe Drag – This move uses the toe of your stick to pull the puck from forehand to backhand in front of a defender. Practicing on a hockey attack triangle is a perfect way to master this move.
- The Datsyuk – Named after Detroit Red Wings legend Pavel Datsyuk, this move fakes a low forehand then has the skater almost float laterally until the goalie goes down and you can roof it.