You could almost be forgiven for assuming that buying the most economical stick equates to buying the best youth hockey stick.
You may think that the stick would be good enough for any young player. This cannot be further from the truth. Your player, no matter his or her level, needs a high quality youth hockey stick in order to truly develop the fundamentals of hockey.
Youth players usually are players between the ages of 4 and 8, but really it depends on the size of the child. When it comes to looking for a stick, you will need to think about the material, length, flex, weight, as well as what you need the stick to for your young player.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Youth Hockey Sticks & Junior Hockey Sticks
There are several factors to consider when looking for the best youth hockey sticks, including material, length, flex, and weight.
While wood was once the only choice for hockey stick material, in the past 20 years, a lot of great advancements have been made. Nowadays, best hockey sticks are not just made up of a single material, but are instead comprised of more than one.
The most popular, and best, material that you should choose for a youth hockey stick is composite.
Composite can be made up of several different materials, from heavy plastic to titanium. Even Kevlar is often used in composite sticks because it is so strong and reliable. Regardless of the exact make-up, composite is more durable and lighter than other options.
The length of your youth hockey stick will affect your ability to control the puck, your reach, and your shots. The length will also affect how you receive and pass. For young players, a mid-length stick would be the most appropriate to learn good stick handling.
The average length for a junior hockey stick is 52”, but sticks can be cut down or extended to accommodate an individual player’s height. Youth players have shorter sticks at 48”, but they can also be adjusted to fit the player’s height. The length really depends on height for younger players.
The flex of a hockey stick is the amount of force that is required to make the bend. The force is measured using pounds. So this means that a stick with a flex rating of 80 would require 80 pounds of force to bend.
Looking at the flex ratings for youth sticks, younger children will usually start with a flex rating of 20. Slightly older children would opt more for a flex rating of 30. The older they get, the higher the flex rating. The average adult usually goes for a flex rating between 75 and 100.
Most players opt for sticks that are a lighter composite material than something that is heavier. The lighter the hockey stick, the less energy is required to move the puck. This will make it easier to control and manoeuvre around the ice as well.
A less cumbersome stick is easier to carry in general. That being said, some players still like the power that they get from a heavy stick. A heavy stick can slow you down, but the shots are harder. For a child, however, a lighter stick is a safer bet.
10 Best Youth Hockey Sticks & Junior Hockey Sticks (2020)
1. Bauer Nexus 2N Pro
Editor's Choice (Youth)
2. True XCORE XC9
High Performance (Youth)
3. Warrior Alpha QX
Budget Friendly (Youth)
4. CCM JetSpeed Youth
5. Warrior Covert QRE
6. Bauer Supreme 2S
7. Bauer Prodigy
8. Warrior Alpha DX
Editor's Choice (Junior)
9. Bauer Vapor FlyLite
High Performance (Junior)
10. Bauer Vapor X2.7
Budget Friendly (Junior)
1. Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Grip
Best Youth Hockey Stick (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best composite youth hockey stick is the Bauer Nexus 2N Pro Grip. This is a composite hockey stick that has all of the reliability that you would expect to get from the Bauer brand.
The design of the Nexus 2N Pro Grip is made with young players in mind. It has a monocomp construction with Textreme technology, giving it a lightweight and durable composite material. The shaft design includes rounded corners and slightly concave sides. The mid-kick flex is ideal for younger players as well.
The features of this stick include a P92 curve that makes for easier stick handling and puck movement. This is also a stick for elite youth players, with the ability to perform well in any situation. The flex rating on this stick is 35, which is a little heavy for younger players, but if they know the fundamentals, it should not be a problem.
2. True XCORE XC9 UFLEX 20 Grip
If you are looking for a high performance stick for your young player, the True XCORE UC9 UFLEX is the right stick for you. This stick is built for players who really want to push their abilities.
The XCORE XC9 is designed using Gen 2 technology, which will ultimately give your player the best control possible. The overall design of the stick is to provide efficiency and accuracy with shots. Part of this comes from the SmartPly and the SmartFlex designs, which give better balance and strength as well as a better overall feel.
This high performance stick has a lot of features to offer, including the Modified BRT+ material used in the blade. This means that the blade is incredibly strong and, as a result, powerful. The Axenic technology used combines a compression molded shaft and a true one-piece stick, giving you top-level construction that mirrors the pro-level models. The flex rating of 20 makes the stick higher performance, but it might not be enough force for all young players.
3. Warrior Alpha QX
For a more budget friendly youth hockey stick, take a look at the Warrior Alpha QX. This is a reliable composite stick that will not disappoint.
With its lightweight and sturdy design, the Alpha QX is easy for young players to use. The carbon is a Minimus Carbon 1000, known to be reliable and strong. The design also includes a taper on the end, helping your young player have stability as he or she takes a shot.
One of the great features of the Alpha QX is that it is built to be extremely well-balanced, which will keep the player upright on the skates. The stick also has a low flex point, which means that the release will have a great snap, helping develop those power shot skills they will use as they get older. The puck feel on the Alpha QX is reliable; making this a great stick to really enhance developing skills, but it might not be the best choice for the newest hockey players.
4. CCM Jetspeed Youth Composite Hockey Stick
For the beginning youth hockey players, the best option is the CCM Jetspeed Youth Composite stick. This stick is built for developing hockey skills.
The design of the CCM Jetspeed includes a full grip, which allows for better control over the puck as well as the stick itself. The horizontal axis of the stick has a perfect bend to encourage control, which is important for learning the fundamentals of hockey. The design of this stick is meant for comfort, encouraging young players to use the stick well.
One of the best features of the CCM Jetspeed is that it has a flex rating of 30. This means it is a great middle-of-the-road hockey stick flex. The stick is a P2B youth blade, which is ideal for stickhandling and shooting development. Ideally, this stick would be used by beginning players who are just getting started on proper grip and stick control. The stick has also been calibrated for loading using its flex ratio.
5. Warrior Covert QRE Grip
Another high performance stick is the Warrior Covert QRE Grip. This is a great stick to help young players master the fundamentals of hockey.
The Warrior Covert QRE uses a one-piece design made up of a carbon fiber material called Minimus Carbon 1200, which is incredibly lightweight. The look of the carbon fiber is to have the fiber be exposed, giving it a simpler and trendier look. The grip of the stick is a textured surface Pro Cortex, which will help players have a solid hold on things.
One of the best features of the Covert QRE is that it has a tapered edge, called a QR Edge that will allow for a more explosive release upon shooting. The cored of the blade is foam-filled with hell-to-toe stringers for an added level of stiffness.
It also has a flat-weave carbon composite which makes the stick extra lightweight. The carbon is also ultra-thin, so energy transfers are incredibly efficient, which is especially useful given the age of the youth players.
6. Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Grip
Another great choice for a youth hockey stick is the Bauer Supreme 2S Pro. This is another composite stick that comes with a Pro Grip for developing handling skills.
The Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Grip is designed to provide young players with a reliable grip and help teach proper stick handling. What is probably the best part of the design is that it is meant to resemble the sticks that you will often see used in the NHL. The design is also appropriately proportioned for the size of the youngest kids.
Some of the great features for the Supreme 2S Pro include a UD Carbon shaft, made for easy stick handling. The 12K Carbon Blade is lightweight and provides a responsive feel. It also has a comfortable grip that will help teach young players where and how to hold their sticks properly.
7. Bauer Prodigy 35 Flex Stick
The last stick that we will take a look at is the Bauer Prodigy 35 Flex. This is a composite stick that is an excellent choice for younger players.
This stick is specifically designed with the short stature of younger players in mind. It is intended to help beginning players establish their skills and gameplay. The design is only 46 inches tall, showing that it really is meant for the youngest players out there. The Prodigy line is specifically made to help new players learn how to shoot correctly from the beginning.
The blade of the Bauer Prodigy 35 Flex has a PU blade core, which is lightweight and durable. The best feature of this stick is that it is adjustable, so it can fit players from 50” to 60” without any issue. Really, the stick is meant to help your child become a master player by being fine-tuned to the needs of young players. It also offers the ideal weight and balance to help newer players learn how to hold their sticks.
8. Warrior Alpha DX Junior Hockey Stick
Best Junior Hockey Stick (Editor's Choice)
If you are looking for the best junior hockey stick that you can get, you should check out the Warrior Alpha DX. This is an excellent stick, made for higher level players who play several times a week.
The Warrior Alpha DX stick has an exclusive Warrior taper design that allows players to have a low-kick point. A low-kick point provides a quick release point, which can help players make a shot with accuracy. The taper design also has increases stability, providing players a stick that is easy to look in addition to being highly accurate.
For a junior stick, the Warrior Alpha DX packs in a lot of incredible features. There is Fuelcore technology which uses a lightweight polymer blade with composite layering around the core for better overall feel and responsiveness. There is also the Apex grip texture that leaves players with a locked-in grip around the stick.
The stick is made with Minimus Carbon 1400 for increased durability. This is a multi-layer type of carbon that keeps the stick light as well as strong.
9. Bauer Vapor Flylite Junior Hockey Stick
When looking for the best high performance hockey stick for juniors, we suggest the Bauer Vapor Flylite. This stick is a little bit heavier than other sticks that we have looked at, but it performs incredibly well.
The design of the Vapor Flylite includes a low-kick point that gives you the ultimate quick release. It also has an asymmetrical TeXtreme shaft that helps boost the overall performance that you get from the stick. This is made for players who take quick motion shots and need to do it quickly.
Some of the great features that you get from the Flylite stick include the advanced carbon layering which helps increase the lifespan of the blade and is hoped to reduce the weight, but the stick is still a little bit heavier than other sticks on the market.
There is also an Aero-Sense 2 blade core that helps give a little more pop every time it’s shot. This increases the overall power and the speed that you will get out of the stick.
10. Bauer Vapor X2.7 Junior Hockey Stick
For a junior stick that is a little easier on the wallet, we suggest the Bauer Vapor X2.7. What makes this stick especially great is that it really can work with players of any level, from beginners up to elite.
The Vapor X2.7 has a low-kick point that improves the overall quickness of the stick. This is a great choice for players who likes quick shots, to shoot right by the net, and who still likes to have some power along with the stick.
The stick itself is made using UD Carbon Fiber technology which increases the durability of the stick.
Even though this is a budget friendly stick, the X2.7 will not disappoint you. It has a Max-Balance blade that will improve the overall consistency of the shots that are fired from this stick.
Combine that with the QRT technology for an enhanced shot quickness. This type of performance is exactly why this stick can work with players who are just starting as well as players who have had a lot of practice.
Youth Hockey Sticks vs Junior Hockey Sticks
While both youth and junior hockey sticks are sticks made for children, they are not exactly the same thing. Typically, youth sticks are made from ages 3 up to age 8 and fit children who are anywhere from three feet tall to five feet tall.
Meanwhile, a junior stick is for age 7 to 13 and works well for children who are between about four feet tall and five feet tall. You will have noticed that there is an overlap in the age groups between the two. This is not a mistake.
There is a carryover between one size and the other. You should opt for the junior stick if your child is on the border between sizes, but if there is a lot of growing room yet, it is better to stay with the youth size. In the features of the sticks, the only difference is length and flex.
You will want to have the very best stick possible for the youngest hockey player in your life. If you have a little child, the best youth hockey stick for them is the Bauer Nexus 2N. This stick has been built with the youngest players’ needs in mind.
The best junior hockey stick is the Warrior Alpha DX, which has elite-level features that even the professional hockey players would appreciate.
The most important piece to remember when it comes to getting the right stick for your child is that it fits his or her needs as well as his or her body size and age. The right length and flex will make a huge difference in their gameplay as well as overall capabilities on the ice.
That said, you will still be better off getting the Nexus 2N or the Alpha DX to have the best technical development possible.