Finding the perfect hockey stick for your defensemen will set him up for success. If players have a good hockey stick while they are young, it will allow them to have better form and control so that they can advance their skills into the future.
The best junior hockey sticks for defensemen are the Warrior Alpha DX Grip, Warrior Covert QRE4, Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Griptac, CCM Jetspeed Composite 40, and the CCM RibCor Trigger 4 Pro Grip. Once your child selects a stick, he should use Stickhandling PRO to advance his stickhandling skills.
This article will go over five of the best hockey sticks for young players and a cool virtual tool called the Stickhandling PRO that can help defensemen improve their puck handling abilities. We will also go over what defensemen do, the age and weight groups for junior hockey players, and some of the features a player should look at before selecting a hockey stick.
A defenseman’s primary objective is not to let the opposing team score. During a game, there are two defensemen on the ice as well as three forwards and a goaltender.
Defensemen should assist the goaltender by blocking and containing the opposition to prevent them from scoring. They need to be aware of their whereabouts to make sure the goaltender can see past them. If the opportunity arises and a defenseman is able to get the puck, he should give the puck to one of the forwards then return to his position near the goaltender.
Junior hockey sticks are typically for players between the ages of 7 to 12. Players in this age range weigh between 70-110 lbs (31.8-45.5 kgs) and generally are 4’4″-5’1″ tall. The length of junior sticks is between 50-54 inches (127-137 centimetres).
Besides junior, there are three other age groups, including youth, intermediate, and senior. We will look at the different heights and weights of players in these groups and the recommended stick lengths.
|Age Group||Player Height||Player Weight||Stick Length|
|Youth (3-5)||3’0″-3’10”||30-65 lbs||38-44″|
|Youth (6-8)||3’10”-4’8″||50-80 lbs||45-49″|
|Junior (7-13)||4’4″-5’1″||70-110 lbs||50-54″|
|Intermediate (11-14)||4’11”-5’4″||95-125 lbs||55-58″|
|Intermediate (12-14)||5’2″-5’8″||100-140 lbs||55-58″|
|Senior (14+)||5’5″-5’10”||125-175 lbs||57-61″|
|Senior (14+)||5’7″-6’1″||150-200 lbs||58-62″|
|Senior (14+)||5’10”-6’4″||180-235 lbs||60-63″|
|Senior (14+)||6’1+||210+ lbs||60-63″|
The Warrior Alpha DX Grip Junior Hockey Stick is a high-end composite stick. It was first released during the 2019-2020 season.
This stick is exceptionally effective without sacrificing style. It comes with a sleek grey body with a splash of neon yellow on the upper part of the shaft. It also features a cool DX logo around the center.
It includes Warrior’s advanced Sabre Taper Technology, which combines the accuracy of a low kick point with a more powerful release. This compelling design allows players to perform quick releases and incredibly accurate shots.
This fantastic stick comes with a number of flex, length, and curve pattern options so your defenseman can customize the stick to make it right for them.
Hockey Monkey has this stick listed for $179.99.
This stick is made from a blend of fibreglass and carbon, providing players with a durable yet lightweight stick. It performs better and is more pliable than previous Covert models.
The blade is made from a 12k carbon fibre weave. This helps make the bottom part of the stick lighter, which provides the player with a more balanced feel. It also permits players to release the puck more quickly since the blade is easy to maneuver.
This stick is a high quality yet affordable, priced at $69.98 on Hockey Monkey’s website.
If you’d like to see what this stick looks like and learn more about its features, take a look at this informative video by Ice Warehouse:
This high-quality stick is pricey but well designed. It is lightweight and incredibly accurate, making it ideal for young players. The shaft is made from durable carbon fibre, which makes it strong yet easy to maneuver.
The Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Griptac Junior comes with GRIPTAC on its shaft. This amazing grip technology allows players to maintain a firm hold on the shaft without exerting excessive pressure.
This mid-kick point stick will be perfect for all of your defensemen’s shooting and defending needs.
It also includes Bauer’s advanced R-Lite Blade System, which is a lightweight foam with a rubberized layer that allows for added control and a greater feel for the puck.
The Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Griptac Junior costs $199.99 on Bauer’s website.
This excellent stick comes with outstanding shaft geometry that promotes proper stickhandling and shooting techniques. It also has a full grip so your player will be able to maintain greater control over their stick.
The CCM Jetspeed Composite 40 offers the perfect amount of flex and rigidity. This helps young players fully load their sticks without having to struggle against a flex that is too rigid for them.
This stick features the new P2B youth blade. The depth of this blade allows young players to grab the puck more easily. The P2B is made from a carbon fibre weave, which increases the blade’s durability and stiffness.
The CCM Jetspeed Composite 40 also includes a name tag that your child can fill in with his name and number.
Kids, coaches, and parents love this stick because it was designed specifically for young players. Its impressive features help up and coming defensemen advance their skills so they can become more skillful hockey players.
This stick costs $99.99 on Pure Hockey’s website.
The RibCor Trigger 4 Pro Hockey Stick offers extreme durability. It comes with advanced Sigmatex technology, which involves weaving carbon fibres into the shaft of the stick. This technology results in increased strength without the added weight.
This great stick has an Asymmetric Taper on the bottom part of the shaft. The taper creates a concave shape on the inner part of the stick and a convex shape on the outer part. This unique design improves the release speed and helps increase players’ accuracy and overall control.
The RibCor Trigger 4 Pro Hockey Stick utilizes CCM’s Agility Blade. This blade is thin yet stiff, which allows for enough flex to increase shot release speed while sustaining control during activities such as stickhandling.
This stick costs $199.99 if you purchase it from the Hockey Monkey’s website.
Before selecting a hockey stick, you and your child should consider the following stick features.
If possible, allow the player to test out the stick before purchasing. Make sure it feels comfortable in their hands. If the stick doesn’t feel right at the store, it won’t feel right on the ice either.
As players get older, they figure out specific stick features they can’t live without. Your young defensemen may not have these preferences yet. Still, they may be able to tell you if something feels comfortable or not.
Most hockey sticks have a blade that curves either left or right. Typically players use blades that bend in the opposite direction of their dominant hand. So, if a player is right-handed, you’ll want to get a blade that curves left, and if he is left-handed, you’ll get a blade that curves right.
If you aren’t sure whether your child’s dominant hand for hockey is their left or right, ask him to pick up a hockey stick. Most of the time, a player’s dominant hand is the hand he puts on top when he holds the stick with both hands.
While this is a simple and typically accurate way to determine which blade curve the player needs, it isn’t foolproof. If you aren’t sure, go with what feels most natural for your child.
If your defenseman is new to hockey and isn’t used to holding the stick, you have the option to purchase a blade that doesn’t bend at all, which is called a flat curve. After the player uses a flat curve blade for a little while, he’ll understand which hand is dominant, so the next time you get a stick, you’ll know which blade curve to get.
The typical size for junior hockey sticks ranges from about 50-54 inches (127.0-137.2 cm). Sometimes they can be a little shorter, around 46 inches (116.8 cm).
To find the exact stick size your player needs, have them stand in their skates and hold a hockey stick. Experts say that beginners should find a stick that is long enough to touch them just below their chin.
Once your defenseman is comfortable with an average-sized stick, they may want to try out a long stick. This will provide them with a more extended reach so they can easily intercept passes and add some power to their slapshots.
Stick flex measures how bendable or rigid a hockey stick will be when force is applied. The higher the flex number, the stiffer the shaft. For example, if you have a hockey stick with a flex of 55, then it would take 55 lbs (24.9 kgs) of force to bend the stick one inch (2.5 cm).
Stick flex typically ranges from 30 to about 110. For junior players, stick flex is usually between 40-50.
Defensemen typically want sticks with a high flex number because stiffer sticks provide them with more power. However, young players often have a hard time with high flex sticks because they require a lot of strength to shoot them. So, for the best results, you should get your player a stick with a flex number that matches their age, height, weight, and strength.
To calculate how much stick flex a player will need, follow the following formula created by Pure Hockey:
- Determine the players’ height, weight, and strength. Imagine that your youth player is ten years old and weighs 80 lbs (36.3 kg). He is of average size and strength for his age, and his stick isn’t cut.
- Divide the weight of the player (in pounds) by two. If your child weighs 80 lbs (36.3 kg), you’ll divide 80 by 2, which equals 40.
- Modify based on their strength and height. If a player is exceptionally tall and strong for their age, you should round up the flex number. However, if the player is average or below-average, you’ll want to round down. For junior players, flex ranges from 40-50. For your average-sized player, you would choose a flex of 40.
- Account for the stick length. If you plan to make the stick longer by at least 3 inches (7.6 cm), you should go up in flex. If you plan to cut the stick down more than 3 inches (7.6 cm), you’ll need to go down in flex. For a player with no stick cut, do not change the flex. In our example, our player did not cut his stick so that you wouldn’t change the flex number.
- Calculate the flex number. Therefore, the estimated flex number for our player would be 40.
Remember, the flex number you calculate with this formula is just an estimate. The most important thing you should consider when determining flex is what feels right for the player. You need to make sure to get a stick with flex that isn’t too stiff or flexible, as the wrong flex can teach young players to play with bad form. This can negatively influence their performance in the future. Always listen to the player and what feels right for them.
Hockey sticks are typically made from either wood or composite. Below you will learn about the pros and cons of each material:
- Wood sticks. Wood sticks are heavier and less durable than composite sticks. They typically weigh 2 to 3 times more than composite sticks, making them more challenging *to maneuver. However, wood sticks are also less expensive than composite sticks. Since your little defenseman is still growing, it may be more cost-effective to buy a wooden stick since you’ll need to replace it every few years.
- Composite sticks. Composite sticks are lighter and easier to maneuver than wood sticks, produce more accurate shots, and can either be made from fibreglass or carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is used to make high-end sticks because it is incredibly lightweight. Fibreglass is a little heavier, but it also tends to be more durable, so sticks made from fibreglass tend to last longer.
Defensemen tend to choose composite sticks over wood sticks. While wood sticks are heavier, which is useful for checking opposing players, composites are more durable and offer better versatility. Because of this, all of the hockey sticks reviewed in the next section will be made from composite.
Composite hockey sticks are made from very durable carbon fibre sheets. These sheets are strong but don’t allow for much bendability. To account for this, stick manufacturers created a softer point of the stick that is able to bend more easily. This area in which the stick can bend and recoil when pressure is applied is called the kick point.
There are three main types of kick point: mid-kick point, low-kick point, and customized kick point.
- Mid-kick point. Mid-kick point sticks are the most common type. When pressure is applied, these sticks bend in the middle. Sticks with this kick point are great for power players who lean into their shot. With a mid-kick point, you get a lot of power from each shot without sacrificing your accuracy. Defensemen often prefer this style since it allows players to shoot powerful shots from a distance.
- Low-kick point. Low-kick point sticks bend further down the shaft closer to the ice. Having a lower kick point allows players to load and release the puck more quickly and accurately than with a mid-kick stick. However, shots taken with low-kick point sticks are not as powerful. Sticks with a low-kick point are often preferred by forwards who need to shoot quick snap and wrist shots.
- Customized kick point. Sticks with a customized kick point are designed to flex wherever the player puts their bottom hand. Sticks with a customized kick point are able to produce powerful shots. Customized kick points are rarer than low and midpoint, so they are only offered by select brands.
The more expensive the stick, the higher the quality. The website New to Hockey goes over the cost and features associated with low-end, mid-range, high-end, and top-of-the-line hockey sticks.
Sticks at this price level aren’t the best. For $50, you’ll either find a wooden stick or a heavy fibreglass composite stick. Low-end sticks are unbalanced since they are made quickly and with little care. Typically sticks in this price range are made from two pieces, meaning the blade and shaft are made separately before being fused together.
You’ll be able to find a good stick at this price point. For $100, you can either get a decent entry-level stick or a discounted mid-range stick.
Since these sticks are a little nicer, they’ll have more carbon fibre in them but will likely be mixed with fibreglass. The technology won’t be the newest or the best, but the stick will get the job done. These will be a little heavier than higher quality sticks. Still, defensemen may like this since some prefer having a little extra weight.
Sticks at this price level are pretty darn good. They are just below the highest quality sticks companies offer. Typically they weigh slightly more than top-of-the-line sticks. However, they should still be very light. At this price, the stick should be made from almost 100% carbon fibre.
While these high-end sticks will have a lot of new technology, they won’t have everything that a top-of-the-line stick will have. Most of these sticks are made as one piece, meaning the blade and shaft are made at the same time.
Sticks at this price point will be the best of the best. Brands spend tons of money and time researching ways to improve these sticks to make them truly remarkable. These top-quality sticks will be incredibly lightweight and should have a great puck feel.
Top-of-the-line sticks will either be 100% carbon fibre, or they will be mixed with another high-end material that improves the stick in some way.
When you buy a top-level stick, you’ll get the latest technology. These sticks feature all of the latest advancements that are able to enhance a player’s power and accuracy. Every stick at this level will be made with one-piece construction. One-piece sticks are more expensive to manufacture than two-piece sticks, so this is another feature that adds to the increased price.
Now that your youth player has picked out his stick, it’s time for him to start using it. One of the essential skills your player should be able to do with their stick is controlled stickhandling.
While stickhandling is especially crucial for forwards, it is also essential for defenders because they need to be able to carry the puck out of the defensive zone.
One tool that can help your defensemen enhance his stickhandling skills is Stickhandling PRO. This virtual program allows your youth player to improve his puck control skills off of the ice.
Stickhandling PRO is a virtual tool that allows players to practice stickhandling from home. To get started, you’ll begin with a free trial with Stickhandling PRO. This will give you access to several interactive games and drills that track your player’s puck movements. Each player will use their own stick and puck (or ball) to perform the activities.
Listed below are three easy steps to help you set up the stickhandling PRO at home.
- Install the Stickhandling PRO on your phone. You can download the stickhandling PRO app on your mobile device. It is available in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Simply type in “Stickhandling PRO” in the search box, and it should pop up. Then, download and install the app.
- Sign in on your devices. After you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll need to make an account at stickhandlingpro.com. After you’ve created the account, sign in on your mobile device and on a laptop, desktop or smart TV. You’ll need these two devices signed in to your account in order for the Stickhandling PRO to work.
- Start stickhandling. Now that you are signed in, your defenseman is ready to start practicing his stickhandling. When setting up the room, make sure everything is moved out of the way, so nothing gets broken. It is also recommended that you use the Stickhandling PRO in a room with smooth flooring, as this will make it easier to maneuver a puck or ball.
If you want to see what the Stickhandling PRO will look like in your home, check out this video from the Stickhandling PRO website. In the video, we demonstrate how Stickhandling PRO works and what the set-up looks like:
Your player will be able to advance their stickhandling skills with Stickhandling PRO quickly. This remarkable tool will enable your child to practice moving their puck in every direction, not just backward and forwards. This will enhance their agility on the ice.
This tool will also teach your player how to achieve finer control during a game and will help them avoid any obstacles that come their way while keeping their head up. This allows them to play more safely on the ice since they will be more aware of their surroundings while handling the puck.
The Stickhandling PRO is not only useful, but it’s also fun. Players can compete against their friends and family to try to achieve the highest score. This tool is so exciting your child will never want to stop practicing.
When buying a junior hockey stick for a defenseman, the main thing you’ll need to consider are:
- The overall comfort of the stick
- Which way the blade curves
- The size of the stick
- How much flex the stick offers
- Whether the stick provides a low or mid kick point
- If the stick is made from wood or composite
The products mentioned above are some of the best options on the market, providing outstanding features for young players who are still working on advancing their skills.
Once your defenseman has a stick, you can further advance their skills with Stickhandling PRO. This virtual tool will increase their abilities at home so that they’ll be able to defend better when it is game time.
- Hockey Repair Shop: How to Choose the Right Hockey Stick?
- Honest Hockey: The 8 Best Junior Hockey Sticks – 2020 Review
- Hockey Monkey: Junior Composite Hockey Sticks
- Brave Stick Hockey: Best Hockey Sticks For Youth & Junior Reviewed 
- Pure Hockey: Pure Hockey Stick Flex Guide
- TWIG Hockey Company: Hockey Stick Kick Points Explained
- Wikipedia: Defenceman
- Wikipedia: Checking
- GreatSkate.com: Choosing A Hockey Stick
- The Stick Guru: Kick Point
- New to Hockey: Beginners guide to Hockey Sticks
- Start Playing Hockey: Wood Vs. Composite Hockey Sticks (Understanding The Differences)
- Stickhandling Pro: Home Page