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  • Jason Yee

Gretzky's Untaught Patterns

When you watch the NHL today, you see Gretzky's influence on the game. A good example of that is the use of behind the net plays. Another example would be Patrick Kane's entry pattern. But there are a number of untaught Gretzky patterns.

The key to Gretzky's success was options.


When you choose routes that give you options, you have convexity. When you choose routes with no options, you have concavity.



The reason I say untaught is because I never see these patterns taught. I've never been taught them. And I see few players executing these patterns consistently - despite the fact that they work.


For example, the Non-Cherry Pattern that Nikita Kucherov uses is very similar to Gretzky's RW entry pattern. Patrick Kane uses a similar entry pattern off the right wing. This right wing entry pattern accounts for 25-40% of their respective point production each season.


Dahlin's SHL highlights show similar patterns to Gretzky's LW entries. Once he adapts to the NHL ice, we'll see him running similar routes.


But why don't all players use these patterns?


Amongst lower level players, mechanics limit execution of these patterns. At higher levels, mechanics do not limit the use of these patterns. It's likely an information gap.


Some might be afraid of errors/turnovers.


The trick to these patterns is that when executed correctly, a player always has two options. If mechanics do not limit a player's execution, all they have to do is react to the momentum of their opponent and their teammate options. The pattern is the system. Then the player let's their natural instinct take over.


Search for patterns and routes that always give you two or more options. You don't even need to invent anything new. The ones that work are buried in video. You can even go back 50 years to find the ones that work. Because no organization is systematically using these patterns with all of their players. This opportunity exists for anyone with access to YouTube and a desire to improve.

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