What is a One-Timer? Hockey Shots Explained

Posted on May 15, 2019 by Dan Kent
one timer

Ever heard the phrase ‘one-timer’ or wondered exactly what the definition is in hockey?

A one-timer in hockey is a when a player passses the puck to a player who then 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.

One-timers in action

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

NHL: One-Timers [Part 1]

Why one-timers are so effective

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

Learning to take one-timers take lots of practice, first you need to know how to time your shot just right so that it hits the ice as the puck arrives.

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 lineup, timing, power and accuracy you get a one-timer that is an incredibly powerful weapon for your team.


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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 towards the goal in one smooth motion. If there is no delay in the shot (no stickhandling or pause) and it happens with one smooth motion – it is a one-timer.

How to improve your one-timer

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

Step 1 – Work on your slapshot

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

Step 2 – Short windups

Once you’re slap-shot is established and well-honed you can practice with short-wind ups (stick only slightly raised). Have another player pass you a series of pucks or use a pass rebounder training aid to practice on your own.

Keep working on this drill until your shot is able to 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 timer, then next time you’re out on the ice, in practice or in the game – when the opportunity comes – try out your new skill.


Final thoughts

A one timer is one of the most powerful, fluid and beautiful shots in the game. It takes real skill and years of practice to get good at one timers. But once you’re able to 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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