Learn how to teach your defencemen to blast through the neutral zone by under-handling pucks, using deception, and getting their hips north.

At the University of Vermont, Stephen Wiedler is tasked with coordinating the recruitment of players, running the penalty kill and developing the defence. The Assistant Coach, who just finished his third season with the program, has a myriad of tools at his disposal, which includes a subscription to The Coaches Site.

Yes, that’s a humble brag. Yes, we can move on.

Wiedler keys in on one specific aspect of developing defensemen in this Virtual Coaching Clinic video: Advancing Pucks Through the Neutral Zone. The skills in focus include under-handling pucks, deception, and “getting your hips north.”

Wiedler, who worked as an Assistant Coach at AIC from 2015-2020 and has also been on World Junior staff for the Norwegian National Team, teaches live game applications of skills work. He breaks it down into four teaching progressions: base layer skill, player awareness/understanding, game simulation & game application.

Although advancing pucks through the neutral zone is the topic, Wiedler demonstrates how to teach a skill – a highly valuable skill for any coach to possess. He’s admittedly not reinventing the wheel, he’s adding to it.

“I’m not going to show you anything here that’s going to revolutionize the game, but what I’m trying to do is build off presentations I’ve seen on The Coaches Site and take it a step further.”

Wiedler offers a lot of experience with defencemen and his presentation will help you further develop your defencemen so they thrive in today’s game.

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Stephen Wiedler

Stephen Wiedler was named an Assistant Coach at the University of Vermont ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. As Assistant Coach at AIC from 2015-2018, Wiedler earned the title of Associate Head Coach in his final year (2019-2020). His responsibilities included being the recruiting coordinator, running the penalty kill, and developing the defense.

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