What is an Assist in Hockey

All About Assist in Hockey | Explained Primary, Secondary with Examples!

What is the most crucial thing in all the games? It’s teamwork! Whether in groups and organizations or sports, if you want to be successful, you need to have a  good team and strong teamwork. This phenomenon is displayed in ice hockey, especially in the hockey assist. 

The basic objective of every game is to score as many goals as you can so that the team can win.  To fulfill this purpose, all the players perform their roles and also assist each other. When the  players help the other players to score and make the pass, this is known as a hockey assist. 

Let’s know more about the hockey assist. 

What is an Assist in Hockey?

Hockey assist is one of the many statistics in ice hockey. One assist equals one point and one  goal can have two assists to it. It is awarded to the last two players who pass on the puck to the  player who goals. 

That means the credit for scoring the goal goes to up to two players who helped in setting up  such a play that finally resulted in scoring. 

The assist is rewarded only when the player takes possession of the puck after the opponent team  has scored the goal, the player’s team has gained possession of the puck from them, and they  have now scored.

It is important to know that every goal doesn’t need to have an assist. Sometimes a player himself  gains possession of the puck and scores it. There is no passing of the puck. In such a case, there  is no assistance to that goal. 

A goal can have a maximum of two assists, but the secondary assist is not necessarily always  there. There may be only one pass for a goal. In that case, that goal will have only one assist to it. 

What are Primary Assists? 

One goal can have two assists. The final player who passes the puck to the player scoring the  goal gets awarded the primary assist. 

If you want to check the primary assists to a goal in the box score, check out the first name beside the goal scorer. That is the primary assist. 

What are Secondary Assists? 

The second assist to the goal is the secondary assist. The second last player who assists in the goal-scoring gets the secondary assist. In simple words, the player who passes the puck to the  primary assist will be the secondary assist. 

To check out the secondary assist in the box score, check out the name beside the primary assist after the goal scorer. That will be the secondary assist. But not every goal has a secondary assist. 

Examples of Assist Scoring Plays

To understand the concept of hockey assist, let us discuss an example of the assist. Consider the example of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak from the Boston Bruins. 

Consider the scenario. 

Bergeron and Pastrnak pass the puck and have a good play which results in Pastrnak trying to  score the goal, but the goalie makes the save. The goal attempt is unsuccessful. 

In the second attempt, Brad Marchand gets the puck back from the defensemen and is successful in scoring.  

What will be the reading on the box score? It will be: 

Goal: Brad Marchand (unassisted) 

Now, let’s interpret this goal. 

Bergeron and Pastrnak had shown good passing play, but they could not score the goal. The  opponent team successfully made the save and got possession of the puck.

After the other team had gained the puck, Brad Marchand snatched away the puck from them,  and he scored the goal. This time, no one from his team assisted in scoring or touched the puck.  Therefore, this goal has no assists to it.  

In case the goalie had not been able to make the save of Pastrnak’s shot, and the puck had  bounced back to Marchand who had scored the goal, the box score would have read: 

Goal: Brad Marchand Assists: (Pastrnak, Bergeron) 

Here Pastrnak is the primary assist, while Bergeron has the secondary assist. 

Only the possession of the puck by the other team invalidates the passes. If the goalie stops a  goal, but the puck goes back to the same team, and they score in the next attempt, the passes will count. 

Similarly, the deflecting of the puck by any means also does not count if the team scores. 

How many Points is an Assist in Hockey? Do they Count as Points 

One assist is always equal to a single point in hockey. The fact that the assist is primary or  secondary does not matter. Even the goals are equal to one point. So, goals and assists both  contribute one point to a player’s total points. 

Assists Leaders 

On average, a good player has one assist in a single game. Having one assist in two games is  proof of a player’s good performance. 

Top 10 leaders 2018-19 

The following list shows the top ten assist leaders of the 2018-19 season:

PlayerTeamAssists
Nikita KucherovTampa Bay87
Connor McDavidEdmonton75
Blake WheelerWinnipeg71
Mitch MarnerToronto68
Brent BurnsSan Jose67
Patrick KaneChicago66
Sidney CrosbyPittsburgh65
Brad MarchandBoston64
Johnny GaudreauCalgary63
Claude GirouxPhiladelphia63

Wayne Gretzky has eleven of the top twelve all-time assists. In the 1985-86 season, he set up a  record of gaining 163 assists. 

So, in a nutshell, assisting in scoring a goal is a hockey assist, and one assist will add one point  to your overall score.

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