It is well known that defensemen need more time than forwards to develop. Trying to stop an offensive rush at high speed while skating backwards is one of the hardest things to do in the game of hockey. The second hardest skill in hockey has to be trying to elude a two hundred pound forward coming at you at full speed while you try to execute a breakout pass. Escapability is one of the most important skills for a defenseman. If the defenseman has the skating ability, agility, speed, vision, and puck skills to escape that first forechecker and make a good decision with his/her breakout pass, they are going to be a valuable defenseman on every team they play with. At IHC Hockey we teach our defensemen the skating skills and puck skills to have good escapability when being pressured on the forecheck. On every team, the top two or three defensemen have that ability and the skill to be able to escape that forechecker and make a great breakout pass. However, the sixth and seventh defenseman on every team usually don’t have that skill and he/she has to shoot that puck high off the glass to avoid a turnover with the forechecker. There is nothing wrong with going high off the glass. This a a very safe play and many times prevents a turnover and even gets the puck out of the zone at times. But as a hockey coach/instructor, you need to develop all top defensemen who have the skill to escape the forechecker. Defensemen have to constantly work on agility, transitions, pivots, quick feet, and quick turns while maintaining strong puck control to develop into a top defenseman. Remember, every team is looking for a good defenseman at every level.