Power Play

1-3-1 Power Play

The 1-3-1 has emerged as the dominant power play in the NHL today, and while it may be one of the more challenging systems, it offers lots of great opportunities for rapid shots and rebounds. Here is the basic positioning:


The top works the puck along the blue line to choose one side of the ice to overload. When the puck is deep is always on the strong side wall if we need to rim it out to regain possession.

The top must be defensive minded, always aware that he is the safety valve if the penalty killers get possession. This role should also be able to deliver a strong, low slap shot, or quick wrist shot.


Part of this job is to attract attention, and keep defense thinking about you. This role should be in the high slot, and even if we overload one side or the other, the bumper stays center in front of the net, focused on rebounds, tips, and quick shots. This role will often take some abuse and you have to play through it.

Left and Right Wing

The wingers on the right and left should be on their offside shot, not natural, so that they can deliver a quick one timer (a lefty should be on the right side, and a righty should be on the left side). The goal is to find open seams so that we can move the puck across the slot line quickly for a one-timer from the other side. That means working hard to be in excellent support positions while keeping an eye on the net. If you get a pass, you need to shoot quickly!

Net Front (Elbow)

Like the bumper, this role will take some abuse, and you have to play through it. This role is generally in front of the net trying to screen the goalie occasionally, make tips or quick rebounds. When we overload one side, this player moves below the goal line on that side to provide a set up pass for the bumper or a wing. 


Once we have control of the puck in the opponent’s zone, we will want to move positions to overload one side of the zone. Typically this will give us an advantage since we will be isolating one or two penalty killers against four of our players.

In the scenario, we’ve moved to the left side. The net front player drops below the goal line and the top moves laterally to the left. Ideally, we move the puck around to open up a seam to the bumper, who can take a quick shot off of a pass from the player (net front) below the goal line.