Blue Line Blades: Top 5 Sticks Used By NHL Defensemen
In the NHL, defensemen are hard to typecast. After all, you’re not talking about an offensive lineman, a corner infielder or a point guard — positions in the world of sports that instantly bring to mind body types and skill sets.
Are we talking about an enforcer? An offensive defenseman? A shutdown defender? Does he snipe on the power play or eat space on the penalty kill?
If you play hockey, and you’re a defenseman, chances are one (or parts of several) of those descriptions fits you. There’s a stick that fits you as well. The trouble is figuring out what that stick might be, given all the products available to the discerning consumer.
GearGeek makes the decision easier by telling you what sticks NHL players use — every player and every stick.
By the Numbers
Slicing up the data can be fascinating — CCM is the most popular brand in the NHL, with 13 of its models accounting for 35 percent of the sticks used in the league. Of all the 31 stick models in use, the one picked up by the most players — 115 total — is Warrior’s Alpha QX.
Even if you’re talking about just defensemen, there are 26 different stick models from six different companies in play — though the top five sticks account for more than 57 percent of the total in use.
That said, there’s room for disagreement, even at the top. Three of the last five winners of the Norris Trophy — awarded annually to the best all-around defenseman in the NHL — use something other than a top-five stick. San Jose’s Brent Burns, who won the Norris in 2017, uses CCM’s RBZ Superfast stick; and both ’16 winner Drew Doughty of the Kings and ’13 winner P.K. Subban of the Predators use the Easton Synergy GX.
And the Winners Are …
Culling data from 241 NHL blue-liners, GearGeek concluded that these are the top five sticks used by the league’s defensemen:
1. Alpha QX (Warrior); 20.1 percent: The league’s most popular stick overall is even more popular with defensemen. Erik Karlsson, Duncan Keith and Zdeno Chara are all recent Norris winners, and all use this low kick-point offering.
2. Supreme 1S (Bauer); 10.4 percent: This is the sort of stick you’d expect for a defenseman. Its design focuses on producing the most power possible. The Islanders’ Nick Leddy carries it.
3. Nexus 1N (Bauer); 10.0 percent: A mid-kick stick, this is generally considered an all-around player’s choice. Victor Hedman of the Lightning finds the stick to his liking.
4. Ribcor Trigger 2 PMT (CCM); 8.8 percent: Just to show that stick styles don’t necessarily meet playing styles, Brent Seabrook of the Blackhawks, more likely to block a shot than take one, is one of the users of this low-kick stick designed for quick shots and puck control.
5. Super Tacks 2.0 (CCM); 8.0 percent: Advertised as an all-around stick with a mid-kick and an “extremely stiff” blade, this stick is used by rising star Seth Jones of the Blue Jackets.
Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.