Neutral Zone Trap Clarified

Neutral Zone Trap Clarified

Seems like I’m doing a lot of Q&A work these days! There have been quite a few questions on the Neutral Zone Trap I diagrammed up a few years ago. So I decided to make a quick clarification video to resolve some of these questions. Before we jump straight in, let me just state again that there are many ways of structuring systems. Sometimes these differences are adjustments to what the other team is doing, sometimes they’re just the coach’s personal preference. Either way, use this info if it makes sense for your situation. If not, don’t use it! Here are a few key points to remember:

Neutral Zone Trap Clarification - YouTubeNeutral Zone Trap
1. The trap is a CONCEPT: make it look like the board-side breakout is open, then systematically shut it down
2. There is more than one way this can be done
3. Adjustments should be made depending on how high the opposing team’s wingers are, and where the breakout is initiating from
4. Ability to angle will make or break the trap – funnel the breakout into the “kill zone”
5. Try to shut down the other team’s breakout BEFORE the red line (to eliminate the option for a dump in)
6. Generate offense with quick NZ transitions after the turnover!

Hope this helps!

One thought on “Neutral Zone Trap Clarified

  • Wesley

    Hi, watching your videos has helped me develop my hockey sense drastically. Thanks for putting up so many helpful videos.
    I recently played a team that have 2 or 3 forwards rush up ice as soon as they have possession in the defensive zone. My team usually uses a 1-2-2 trapping system that worked extremely well in the past, but not against this team. They just had some many players in the neutral zone by the time the puck carrier is at the blue line we could not effectively shut down their middle lane options. We started to aggressively forecheck near the end of the game and that seemed to have worked and caused a few turnovers.
    My question is, what is the best way to counter a team that tries to break out as quickly as possible?


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