Open Hip Skating with Ryan Spooner


When most hockey players think of improving their game, they often overlook the fundamental building block, skating. Young players especially spend their free time trying to perfect shoot out moves or fancy stick skills that they see on TV by people like Patrick Kane or Pavel Datsyuk. While this is well and good, players overlook the fact that the proper execution of these moves are dependent on special skating abilities.

In Bobby Orr’s new book, Orrhe touches upon the importance of skating.

“Some players just have efforts acceleration, a sort of fluidity that helps them maneuver out of trouble or get back into possible. There have been some great players who weren’t noted for their skating – some of the greatest ever. And there have been some beautiful skaters who’s hands never caught up to their feet. Still, it was a huge compliment to be told I could skate. Its part of the game that hasn’t changed to this day, because skating has been and always will be the main ingredient for any hockey player’s success.” – Bobby Orr

The Pertti Hasanen Hockey Academy puts a lot of emphasis on improving a player’s skating. One of the techniques we incorporate into our system is the Open Hip. This is when a player can pivot his or her skates into an almost “V” position while maintaining speed and direction. The open hip move is very useful in helping to confuse pick up speed and confuse a defender. It can also help a player maneuver through tight areas.



Here we can see Boston Bruin’s forward Ryan Spooner utilize the open hip during a rush against Nashville. He first displays an open hip when looking for a breakout pass in the D-Zone. As he rushes up the ice and crosses the blue line, you can see him open up subtly enough to trick the defensemen into thinking he was going to pull up at the blue line and make a pass. However, Spooner keeps his forward progress, opens up one more time, causing the defensemen to move his stick into a high shooting lane. Again, he keeps moving forward and finds a seam in the low shooting lane for a beautiful finish from Soderberg.

These very subtle moves can be the difference between creating offense or turning the puck over. The Bruins’ coaches have been very vocal with Spooner’s ability to create offense, citing that as one of the skills all GREAT players have. Mastering the Open Hip skating technique can help you create offense and take your game to the next level!


Cornell’s Brian Ferlin Scores Great Goal Against Yale


Brian Ferlin shows why he is a top prospect for the Boston Bruins in his goal versus Yale last January. There is a lot at play here in this video when analyzing it from a player evaluation perspective.

  • Tenacity- Ferlin is all over the ice here, skating with a purpose which created opportunities for him. He’s constantly moving his feet through the neutral zone and supporting the play. He makes a very quick decision to jump on a loose puck which was enabled because he never stopped moving his feet.
  • Vision- Most players in this situation would have driven the net and tried to bury it home, using the crashing forward as deception, which also has the potential to be a very nice play. Ferlin seems to be taking this route but makes a beautiful pass through the defenders stick to his line mate in the slot. He is skating with his head up the whole time, holding onto the puck just long enough to draw the defender to him before passing it across ice.
  • Quick Hands- Ferlin makes an outstanding move off the broken play that will go unnoticed by the average fan. He picks up the puck on his backhand across his body while moving in the opposite direction, is able to stop short, quickly bring the puck back across his body to his forehand and rifle off a hard snapshot in a matter of seconds. The skill and difficulty level of this play is extremely high.
  • Strength- The ability to take a hard shot from awkward positions without being able to step into a shot with your whole body is one skill that separates good players from average players. Ferlin is forced to take a shot with his hands positioned very close to his body and the puck at his skates. He didn’t have time to take a big wind-up to bring full body power behind the shot. It is very impressive that he was able to take such a hard shot from that position.

We recognize this valuable skill at the Pertti Hasanen Hockey Academy. Here is one drill that we use to help players develop this skill. Players always talk about how difficult it is but after practicing it over and over again, they gain more confidence and it becomes natural.


Boston Bandits’ Tommy Mahoney Earns First Star of The Week For Metropolitan Junior Hockey League

November 3, 2013 – Tommy Mahoney (’95) of the Boston Bandits earned the First Star ofThe Week for the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League. He logged six assists and a +5 Continue Reading →

Dallas Star’s Drew Shore Working Skills at Pertti-Ran Camp Over Summer



The Dallas Stars organization had Pertti run skills training over the summer for their prospect camp. In the first video above we see Drew Shore making his way through a series of sticks and tires designed by Pertti to help develop stick handling. In the second video, Shore displays great skating and stick handling skills. The one knee skating with opposite side reaching helps train the body and mind into accepting awkward positions and maintaing puck control.


Bill O’Neill and Tire Drills Featured In Episode 1 of Behind the B


Pertti Hasanen Hockey Academy co-founder, Billy O’Neill was given some FaceTime during episode 1 of the Boston Bruins web series “Behind The B.” If you scroll to around the 33:30 minute mark, you can see Coach O’Neill skating alongside Bruins top Prospect Brian Ferlin as he works his hands during one of our tires drill.