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Wrist, Snap, Slap Shots Comparison: When to use each shot.

The four shooting fundamentals I always teach players include:

1.  Weight transfer
2.  Eyes up
3.  Wrist roll and follow through
4.  Pull, push and roll

They all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding and practicing these four elements will help you build a strong shooting foundation so you can utilize wrist, slap and snap shots in game situations.

Let’s examine the differences between each shot so you can clearly identify their advantages.

Wrist Shot

A wrist shot involves sweeping the puck along the ice with constant connection to your stick blade and releasing it with a rotating motion of your wrists. This type of shot is the most accurate and quickest to execute. You’re also able to shoot off either foot, which aids in the speed of release.

Slap Shot

Slap shots are performed by raising your stick behind your body and slapping the puck with a sharp motion during follow through. They’re the most powerful type of shot, but take the longest amount of time to execute and are the least accurate.

Defencemen often use slap shots from the blue line. They’re typically not trying to score as much as they’re trying to get the puck on the net with a lot of heat. Aiming to surprise the goalie and create rebound traffic using the slap shot is one of its most common uses.


A snapshot is a hybrid between wrist and slap shots. You create a small gap between your blade and the puck during the shooting process and finish by smacking the puck. This type of shot doesn’t have the giant backswing of a slap shot, but also doesn’t require the puck to constantly stay on your blade. It enables speed and power, which is why it’s frequently used. Another advantage is that snapshots can be more difficult for some goalies to read.

Utilizing Each Type of Shot

Each type of shot is useful in different game situations, such as the slap shot being valuable for defencemen on the blue line and wrist shots being ideal for quick accuracy in front of the net. Consider the type of shots you use in game scenarios to make sure you’re utilizing the most effective option(s).

If you’re interested in improving your hockey skills, check out my upcoming camps. I’d love to see you on the ice!