What is a One-Timer? Hockey Shots Explained

Posted on February 26, 2024 by Dan Kent
one timer

Ever heard the phrase 'one-timer' and wondered what the heck it was? We'll go over that in this article.

What is a one-timer in hockey?

A one-timer in hockey is when a player passes the puck to a player who immediately fires a shot (usually a slapshot) into the net without stopping the puck. It's a powerful quick-release shot.

It's called a one-timer because the player has just one time to connect his stick with the puck.

Why one-timers are so effective

One-timers are fast, powerful, and highly effective shots that surprise the goalie and defenders. The speed of a one-timer makes the shot very hard to do and also very hard to defend against.

Because these plays usually result in the puck moving across the ice, it is challenging for the goaltender to stop a good one-timer, as it is impossible to move laterally as fast as the puck can travel. As a result, goaltenders have very little time to react.

How to take a one-timer in hockey?

Learning to take one-timers take lots of practice. First, you must know how to time your shot right to hit the ice just as your teammate's pass gets to you. Secondly, you need to be great at taking slapshots already, and third, your aim needs to be impeccable to hit the right part of the net.

When all three of these line up, timing, power and accuracy, you get a one-timer that is a potent weapon for your team.

To take a one-timer in hockey, you must work on hand-eye coordination. Because one-timers require bigger wind-ups, harder shots, precise timing, and a fluid motion, if you're learning how to take one, you will likely miss the moving puck as it comes to you initially.

But with enough practice, you'll learn how to deploy effective body position to increase the chances of connecting as the puck approaches you.

Slapshots or Snapshots

One-timers are either usually taken using slapshots – when the stick is raised high and slams into the ice and puck just as it arrives towards you.

One-timers can also be taken from snapshots, where the stick is on the ice already, and the stick snaps back and hits the puck right toward the goal in one smooth motion. If there is no delay in the shot (no stickhandling or pause) and it happens with one smooth movement – it is a one-timer.

Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers has mastered the snapshot one-timer. Here is a video below.

One-timers in action

Check out this compilation of one-timers in the NHL which shows top-level players perfecting their art.

How to improve your one-timer

If you're a hockey player looking to develop your one-timer move, you can do a few things in practice to develop the skills required.

Step 1 – Work on your slapshot

Before you can run, you have to walk. The same is valid with the one-timer. Get good at taking slapshots before you move toward a one-timer.

Step 2 – Short windups

Once your slapshot is established and well-honed, you can practice with shorter wind-ups (stick only slightly raised). Have another player pass you a series of pucks, or use a pass rebounder training aid to practice independently.

Keep working on this drill until your shot can land at just the right moment. Timing is everything.

Step 3 – Practice

Once you've mastered short windups and your timing is improving, its time to increase your power. Raise your stick higher and repeat the same drill but this time with a full slapshot.

When you're confident you can get good contact with the puck most of the time, then the next time you're out on the ice, in practice or the game – when the opportunity comes – try out your new skill.

Final thoughts

A one-timer is one of the game's most powerful, fluid, and beautiful shots. It takes real skill and years of practice to get good at one timers. But once you combine power, speed and accuracy into a shot, you've got a truly epic shot tugged up your sleeve.

Dan Kent

About the author

Growing up in a hockey hotbed (Calgary, Alberta. And yes, I'm an Oiler fan), I decided to put my love and knowledge of the game to work. I started at five and am still playing today into my early 30s. By acquiring Brave Stick Hockey and rebranding it to Big Shot Hockey in 2023, I plan to teach people about this great game and educate them on the best equipment and history of the game. On a career level, I am in finance, running one of the largest financial websites in Canada, Stocktrades.ca.

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