The ice hockey positions diagram illustrates the various positions players assume during a game. Ice hockey involves six positions: forwards, defensemen, and a goalie.

Players strategically position themselves to maximize offensive and defensive capabilities, with forwards typically attacking, defensemen defending, and the goalie protecting the net. These positions are essential for coordination and teamwork, enabling players to execute plays and score goals while preventing their opponents from doing the same.

Understanding the ice hockey positions diagram is crucial for players, coaches, and fans alike, as it enhances comprehension of the sport’s dynamics and strategies.

Ice Hockey Positions Diagram


The Basics Of Ice Hockey Positions

Ice hockey is an exhilarating sport that requires both skill and strategy. One of the key elements of the game is the positioning of players on the ice. Understanding the basics of ice hockey positions is essential for both players and fans alike. In this article, we will break down the various positions in the game and highlight their roles and responsibilities. So let’s dive right in!

Forwards are the offensive powerhouse of the hockey team. They are primarily responsible for scoring goals and setting up plays. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of forward positions:

  • Center: The center is the backbone of the forward line. Positioned in the middle, they are responsible for winning face-offs, distributing the puck to teammates, and maintaining control of the game. They are often skilled playmakers.
  • Wingers: The wingers, also known as left wing and right wing, play alongside the center. They are usually responsible for providing support to the center and creating scoring opportunities. Wingers need to have good speed to maneuver around opponents and score goals.

The defensemen play a crucial role in protecting their team’s goal and preventing the opposing team from scoring. Let’s explore the different defense positions:

  • Left Defenseman: Positioned on the left side of the ice, the left defenseman plays a vital role in defending against the opponent’s attack from the right side. They need to have strong defensive skills and the ability to jump into the offensive play when necessary.
  • Right Defenseman: Similar to the left defenseman, the right defenseman defends against attacks from the left side. They are also responsible for clearing the puck out of their zone and supporting their team’s offensive plays.

The goaltender, often referred to as the goalie, is the last line of defense for a hockey team. The primary objective of the goaltender is to prevent the opposing team from scoring by blocking shots on goal. They must be quick, agile, and have excellent hand-eye coordination to make saves under pressure.

In conclusion, ice hockey positions are divided into forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. Each position plays a critical role in the success of a team. From scoring goals to preventing them, every player has a unique responsibility on the ice. Understanding these positions helps us appreciate the intricacies of the sport and the teamwork required to achieve victory.

Ice Hockey Positions Diagram


Forward Positions

When it comes to the game of ice hockey, understanding the different positions is essential for players and fans alike. The forward positions in ice hockey are crucial for offense and goal-scoring opportunities. In this blog post, we will explore the three main forward positions: Center, Left Wing, and Right Wing. Let’s dive in!


The center position, also known as the “pivot,” is located in the middle of the ice and usually plays a pivotal role in both offensive and defensive plays. The center is responsible for taking faceoffs and distributing the puck to their teammates. As the primary playmaker, they often lead breakouts and set up scoring opportunities for their wingers. Centers are known for their exceptional passing, vision, and ability to control the flow of the game. They play a crucial role in both power play and penalty kill units, providing support to their defensive counterparts and executing quick offensive transitions.

Left Wing

The left wing position is located on the left side of the ice relative to the offensive zone. Left wingers are typically known for their speed, agility, and ability to drive towards the net. They work closely with the center on the same side of the ice, creating chemistry and developing effective passing plays. Left wingers often engage in physical play, forechecking opponents to regain possession of the puck. They also play a significant role in blocking passing lanes, pressuring opponents, and contributing to defensive efforts. Left wingers are vital assets in both offensive attacks and defensive support.

Right Wing

The right wing position is located on the right side of the ice relative to the offensive zone. Right wingers play a similar role to left wingers, focusing on speed, shooting accuracy, and creating goal-scoring opportunities. They work hand in hand with the center and left wing, often completing the “forward line” trio. Right wingers are responsible for driving towards the net and finishing plays. They excel in their ability to take one-timers, execute accurate shots from prime scoring areas, and create chaos for opposing goaltenders. Defensively, right wingers contribute by pressuring opponents, backchecking, and supporting their defensive teammates.

Defense Positions

In the ice hockey game, the defense positions play a crucial role in protecting the team’s net and preventing the opponents from scoring. The defense positions are responsible for initiating offensive plays, making crucial defensive moves, and providing support to both the goaltender and the team forwards.

Left Defense

The left defense position, commonly known as the LD, is typically held by a player who shoots with their left hand. The left defense is primarily responsible for guarding the left side of the ice rink, as viewed from the team’s own goal. It is essential for the left defense player to possess strong skating skills, positional awareness, and the ability to make accurate passes. They must also be adept at blocking shots, intercepting passes, and engaging in physical play when necessary. The left defense player works in tandem with the left winger to form a solid defensive unit.

Right Defense

The right defense position, also known as the RD, is usually filled by a player who shoots with their right hand. The right defense is tasked with protecting the right side of the ice rink, as seen from the team’s own goal. Similar to the left defense, the right defense player needs to have excellent skating abilities, defensive instincts, and passing accuracy. They must be able to anticipate the opponent’s moves, break up plays, and contribute to the team’s offensive efforts. The right defense player forms a strong defensive partnership with the right winger, ensuring a cohesive defensive structure.

Overall, the defense positions in ice hockey play a vital role in both defensive and offensive aspects of the game. They require a combination of defensive skills, physicality, and offensive awareness to contribute effectively to their team’s success on the ice.

Goaltender Position

The goaltender, also known as the goalie or netminder, is one of the most critical positions in ice hockey. The primary responsibility of the goaltender is to defend the net from opponents’ shots and prevent goals. The goaltender is the last line of defense, and their exceptional skills and abilities play a crucial role in a team’s success.


The responsibilities of a goaltender are diverse and demanding. Here are some key aspects that a goalie is responsible for:

  • Stopping Shots: The goaltender’s main task is to stop the opposing team’s shots from entering the net. They must have quick reflexes, excellent hand-eye coordination, and sound positioning to make saves.
  • Clearing the Puck: When the opposing team gets close to the net, the goaltender must clear the puck out of the danger zone to prevent scoring opportunities.
  • Communication: Goaltenders act as the on-ice leaders, organizing the defense by communicating with the defensemen. They must provide directions, guide their teammates, and keep everyone aligned.
  • Playing the Puck: Goaltenders are involved in playing the puck outside their crease. They can assist their team by passing the puck to initiate a counter-attack or support puck possession.
  • Controlling Rebounds: After making a save, the goaltender must control rebounds by directing the puck away from the opposing players or freezing it to halt play. This prevents second-chance scoring opportunities.


The goaltender requires specialized equipment to protect themselves and effectively carry out their duties. Here is a list of essential equipment for a goaltender:

Equipment Function
Goalie Mask Protects the head and face from shots
Chest Protector Covers the chest and upper body, providing safety against shots and hits
Leg Pads Padded leg coverings that help block shots and protect the legs
Catcher Glove Designed to catch and hold the puck
Blocker Protects the hand and helps deflect shots
Pants Provide protection for the lower body and hips
Skates Specialized goalie skates for mobility and stability

In addition to these primary pieces of equipment, goaltenders also wear a neck protector, mouthguard, jockstrap, and other accessories depending on their preference and league regulations.

Importance Of Understanding Positioning

Understanding the positioning in ice hockey is essential for players and teams. It is crucial for effective communication, teamwork, and overall performance. By knowing the specifics of each position, players can strategize, transition, and work together seamlessly on the ice.

Team Dynamics

Within an ice hockey team, each player has a specific role and position to maintain a cohesive unit. The understanding of team dynamics is crucial for successful gameplay, as it ensures that players can seamlessly collaborate and support each other on the ice to maximize offensive and defensive potential.

Transition And Strategy

The ability to transition between offensive and defensive strategies relies heavily on understanding positioning in ice hockey. Effective transition and strategy hinge on players’ awareness of their roles and positions, allowing for a cohesive and well-coordinated team effort which is crucial for success.

Ice Hockey Positions Diagram


Frequently Asked Questions On Ice Hockey Positions Diagram

What Is Each Position In Hockey?

In hockey, each position has specific roles: 1. Forward: Scores goals and assists. 2. Defense: Defends against the opposing team’s offense. 3. Goalie: Protects the goal from the opposing team’s shots.

What Does F Mean In Hockey?

The “F” in hockey stands for forward. Forwards are the players positioned closest to the opponent’s net and are responsible for scoring goals and creating offensive plays.

What Is The Difference Between A Forward And A Defenseman In Hockey?

Forwards in hockey focus on scoring goals, while defensemen primarily defend their team’s goal and help prevent the opposing team from scoring. Forwards are usually more involved in offense, while defensemen play a crucial role in protecting their team’s defensive zone.

What Is Position D In Ice Hockey?

Position D in ice hockey refers to the defense position. Defensemen are responsible for guarding their team’s goal, preventing the opposing team from scoring. They also support the offense by passing the puck and occasionally joining the rush.


Understanding the different positions in ice hockey is essential for players and fans alike. From the goaltender’s crucial role in defending the net to the forwards’ responsibility of scoring goals, each position plays a vital part in the game. By familiarizing yourself with the positions depicted in the ice hockey positions diagram, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the strategies and teamwork involved in this fast-paced sport.

So, whether you’re a player aiming for your dream position or a fan looking to enhance your knowledge, this diagram is a valuable resource. Enhance your understanding of ice hockey and elevate your enjoyment of the game with this helpful visual reference.