"No matter where the puck is in the defensive zone, always keep the nose of your stick facing the puck."

Dave Starman has forgotten more about hockey than most will know in their lifetime. He’s a wealth of knowledge and having him contribute to the Virtual Hockey Summit was fantastic. As was his presentation.

During his 33-minute talk, which teaches defencemen how to create early gaps, defend off the puck and create offence all at the same time, Starman drills down on teaching defensemen to defend early.

Starman is a former 11-year NHL scout with Toronto, Montreal and Seattle, with a resume that boasts 35-years coaching from U8 to AAA. He’s also a college hockey analyst with CBS Sports, ESPN, and Big Ten Network, and World Junior Championship analyst for NHL Network. 

He’s currently the Player Development Director with the Long Beach Lightning and defence is where he loves to drill down to improve skills.

Starman begins his presentation by discussing the two places defensemen defend: away from the puck and at the puck, and that no matter where the puck is in the defensive zone, always keep the nose of your stick facing the puck. 

“One of the concepts I’ve really dug into is teaching defensemen to defend early, gapping up, forward gap and surfing, all those things that help defensemen make plays earlier and utilize their skating ability.”

Gap control, anticipation, stick detail and limiting crossovers are also touched on, as are Starman’s “Rules of Engagement” and guidelines for your defensemen.

His presentation also includes examples from NHL games, and practice plans for you to implement immediately.

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

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David Starman

Starman has spent 11 years as an NHL scout with Toronto, Montreal, Seattle.  He is a member of USA Hockey Player Development staff in New York State and has spent  25 years as an instructor with USA Hockey Coaching Education Program.
Starman tended goal for the University of Hartford before turning to the other side of the game, becoming the youngest head coach in Central Hockey League history in 2000 when, at age 31, he took over the Memphis River Kings. Starman later guided the New York Junior Bobcats of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League and was associate coach of the New York Apple Core of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Starman is now one of the nation’s most respected college hockey TV analysts.

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