This presentation discusses retrievals and offensive zone play, specially shooting.

A defenceman’s ability to skate and move the puck from the d-zone to the o-zone is key, according to Soo Greyhounds assistant coach Brendan Taylor.

The 33-year-old product of Oakville, Ontario, is new to the Greyhounds staff having joined them mid-August 2022. Prior to this position, Taylor spent the previous six seasons with the Mississauga Steelheads in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference. Taylor worked a season as video coordinator before becoming assistant coach, working closely with the team’s defensemen. 

In five seasons with the Steelheads, Taylor worked alongside six NHL draftees, including defensemen Vili Saarijarvi (2015: Detroit), Jacob Moverare (2016: Los Angeles), Nic Hague (2017: Vegas), Thomas Harley (2019: Dallas), Ole Bjorgvik (2020: Columbus) and Ethan Del Mastro (2021: Chicago).

That’s an impressive list, as is Taylor’s previous presentation for The Coaches Site about Creating Offence Behind the Net.

His latest presentation was part of the Global Skills Showcase, but with a focus on developing defensemen, and specifically breaking down the skills that relate to retrievals and o-zone play, especially shooting.

“Any time at the blueline, we want to get the puck on the forehand in the loaded position, meaning you’re able to both shoot and pass, you’re a dual threat,” explains Taylor. “The shot blocker is forced to respect the shot and you’re able to freeze them and generate time and space.”

In addition to honing in on retrievals and offensive zone play, answering questions like How can we create offence from the point? How can we get off the blueline? How can we manipulate the shot blocker? How can we free the shot blocker?, Taylor’s 32-minute presentation also provides valuable teaching notes, explains 1% daily improvement and discusses the importance of a quality development process.

This video is available exclusively to members of The Coaches Site.

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1 comment

  • I played d and have had one top d coaches in Jr’s. I have coached a lot of good dmen for many years. That said Brendan does a really nice job of hitting a lot of the keys to having success at the position. Well done!

Brendan Taylor

Taylor, an Oakville, ON native played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2006 – 2008 with Peterborough, Belleville & Saginaw. Taylor most recently spent two seasons with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL as their assistant coach. After spending the 2016-17 season as the team’s Video Coordinator, Brendan assumed the role of Assistant Coach for the start of the 2017-18 season with the Mississauga Steelheads.

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