Into the Lab: How the best shutdown defenders dictate the game, with 2024 NHL Draft prospect Tory Pitner

Offence gets all the glory. 

A highlight reel goal is easy to appreciate, while the best defensive plays often go unnoticed. 

For the best attackers, the game is about dictating the actions of defenders. They force a reaction and relentlessly exploit it. 

But the best defenders flip the script. They're the ones who control their opponents, often lulling them into a false sense of security before springing into action. 

To explore how the best defenders stack the deck in their favour, we've recruited Tory Pitner, a Clark Cup Champion, Denver commit, 2024 NHL Draft prospect, and arguably the USHL's best shutdown defender.  

The first part of defence is knowing the context. The best defenders know everything: Who they're playing against, what handedness they are, the types of plays they try, and t

Access this article with EP Premium

Go Premium to access this article

Register your Premium-membership at eliteprospects.com to get access to this article and more quality, in-depth coverage at EP Rinkside

This article is about:
NHL Florida Panthers Minnesota Wild New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils Univ. of Denver Univ. of Denver Univ. of Denver Youngstown Phantoms NHL NCAA USHL Aaron Ekblad Brock Faber John Marino K'Andre Miller Tory Pitner Braden Schneider Devon Toews
Scoring Leaders