The major difference between an average goal scorer and an elite goal scorer, like Patrick Kane or Tyler Seguin, is their ability to get the shot off quick. By having a quick release, this will allow you to have a step up on the goaltender, preventing him or her from getting set-up in the net to make the stop. When it comes to having a quick and effective release, it’s important to consider the following:
First, to have a quick release, you need to shorten your wind-up. Like a one-timer, if you have a big wind-up, you are giving the goaltender time to move into position for your shot. All that you need to do is to drag your stick back to the back heel of your skate and release the puck using the push/ pull motion. The push/ pull motion is probably the component that makes the quick release so effective. Essentially, the “push” refers to a hockey player pushing or extending his/ her arms out from the body. Next comes the “pull” effect, which is the notion that a hockey player pulls his/ her top hand back, while pushing forward on the lower hand. Keep in mind, the flex of the stick can play a vital role in this concept. A stick that has a lower flex will result in more whip or torque, resulting in a stronger release. However, a stick that is stiff or that has a higher flex, will result in a weaker shot. Although this all sounds very technical, this does not necessarily apply to younger hockey players, as they do not have as much strength as older hockey players.
Lastly, a quick release shot can prove to be even more effective when you change the angle of the shot. By changing the angle of the shot, this does not necessarily mean changing the angle of shot elevation, rather, it means changing the angle of the release point. For example, if you were approaching the goaltender and were ready to take a shot, the goaltender can anticipate the location of the shot by simply watching the blade of the stick. However, if you were to approach that same goaltender later in the game and were ready to let go a quick release shot, you could be deceptive by slightly changing the release point by doing a slight toe drag, moving the puck closer to your body, then releasing it. Just by moving the puck several inches can significantly change the possible locations that the puck can travel, causing the goaltender to readjust to the new release point. Again, this all sounds very technical, but you can practice the quick release from different angles by simply placing pucks in a square grid on your forehand, and shooting the pucks from inside, outside, ahead and in back of your stance.