Here is the first trial for my stick handling evaluations. The main focus is to try and get kids motivated to go home and practice because that is where the improvement happens. Here is the criteria:
Test #1 - Crossing the Line
The player simply stick handles the puck 10 times across any line on the ice as fast as possible. This is a great test to learn heads up hockey. By quickly stick handling the puck, the player will learn how to feel the puck, and in turn, will feel more comfortable looking forward. It takes focus though. A player's natural instinct is to look at the puck while stick handling with nobody attacking. A player must say, "don't look at the puck" before doing this test.
Rolling your wrists is the next most important thing to practice while doing this test. The player must roll their wrists so that the blade of the stick cups the puck on the forehand and the backhand. Players who don't roll their wrists usually lose the puck off their backhand.
Players should realize that they don't need to move their arms during this skill. Keep your arms relaxed and they should move anywhere. As the player rolls their wrists, the puck will cross the line.
Test #2 - Hashmark to Hashmark
This is a great test to see how well a player can control the puck. A good stickhandler should be able to cross each hashmark 10 times in a row without losing the puck. The key to success is to stick handle the puck close to the heel of the blade.
Test #3 - Coordinated Crossovers
While crossing over the outside foot over a hockey stick on the ice, the player maintains control of the puck by stick handling 3 times every crossover. The player is timed for speed and also awarded points for each time the puck is touched. A highly skilled stickhandler should be able to stick handle the puck 30 times during 10 crossovers.
Connor McDavid did this drill on video and you can see that his coach is flashing numbers while he does this drill. This way Connor has to keep his head up and call out the numbers.