If you check out our main top sticks article, you will see that we crowned the Warrior Fantom QRE as our champion of the year. For forwards, we are going to be adjusting our list a bit based on what we think the best fit will be for you! Our top pick for forwards this year is the Bauer Vapor Flylite. Bauer has shaved 15 grams off this stick compared to the 1X Lite, and it is used all throughout the NHL. That wicked low kick point that the vapor is famous for is front and center on this stick, and we think it is one of the key reasons this stick will help you go bar down game in and game out.
Best Stick For Forwards
Our Top Choice
Coming in at a lower overall weight than its predecessor, as well as a TeXtreme shaft for improved durability, this is the stick to get if you want to start tallying more goals!
Improving on last years Vapor 1X Lite, comes the Bauer Vapor Flylite – And it is a real performer. Weighing Merely 383 grams (compared to 398 for the 1X Lite) Bauer continues to work towards a lighter and more balanced stick without sacrificing durability and longevity. Currently it is estimated around 11% of NHL forwards are using the Vapor Flylite, putting it squarely in the top 3 sticks, overall. We believe this usage is skewed towards forwards for its lightening fast release, awesome balance, and lightweight feel. If you have been a fan of the Vapor lineup, this new entry is sure to impress and is our top pick for the year!
Featuring a versatile hybrid kick point, this stick will work for you whether you prefer in close snap shots, or booming one timers – the Jetspeed FT2 does it all!
The CCM Jetspeed FT2 Senior Hockey Stick is CCM’s newest stick to market at the time of writing. Used by over a whopping 22% of NHL players (Info courtesy of Gear Geek) this stick is making waves in the pro leagues. Featuring a versatile hybrid kick point to accommodate all types of shots and playing styles, as well as CCM’s awesome Sigmatex carbon weave for improved durability, this is our choice for forwards who are trying to score from all parts of the offensive zone!
For Forwards With Quick Hands
True’s latest stick, the AX9, is quickly getting adopted at all levels of play as a wonderfully balanced stick with some great pop off the blade. If you love making moves in tight, this stick is a great choice for you!
Coming in at the heaviest of our sticks on this page, but still very lightweight at 393G, the True True AX9 Senior Hockey Stick is True’s latest evolution of the A lineup, replacing the A6.0 from last year. True has always focused on blending amazing feel with great durability, featuring no less than 3 durability enhancing technologies (SmartPly, BRT+ Tech, and FiberSHIELD) alongside the Axenic technology which they claim creates a true one piece stick. What you get is a stick that might not be the lightest or have the most pop off the blade, but will last for a long time, and feel amazing using it every game!
Our Research And Findings
Looking at most elite NHL scorers these days you will see a common theme. Deceptive, lightning quick, and deadly accurate wrist and snap shots. Auston Mathews, Jack Eichel, and Nikita Kucherov are just a few young NHL stars who use quick releases to their advantage in today’s game. While you could likely put a wooden stick in these guys hands and they would still score, don’t kid yourself for a second and think they don’t want the best sticks in the world in their hands. If the top pros in the world need them, you can bet your game will improve by having a top of the line stick matched with the proper flex for your size.
We have focused this review on choosing what we believe are the top 3 sticks for forwards to help you improve your game. This year’s winners hail from top manufacturers Bauer and CCM.
Read on to see our brief comparison table, followed by our in depth review of each stick!
The Best Hockey Sticks For Forwards
1. Bauer Vapor FlyLite - Best Overall Stick For Forwards
Specifications and Features:
- 15 Grams Lighter – Bauer has again shaved weight off the premier Vapor stick, with this stick coming in at a feather light 383 grams
- Low Kick Point – Bauer continues with the Vapor lineups tradition of low kick point, enabling you to get lightning quick shots off time and time again
- XE Taper Technology – An elliptical shape where the shaft joins the blade allows for faster releases and greater puck control
- TeXtreme – Bauer’s proprietary Carbon Fiber, helps enhance durability and increase energy transfer from stick to puck
- Low Kickpoint, Quick Release – Bauer’s patented low kickpoint on the Vapor series returns again and is as good as ever. Expect quick, explosive releases time and time again as the puc rockets off the new Aero-Sense 2 blade
- Light As A Feather – Bauer seems to be continuously shaving weight off the Vapor sticks, and have cut 15 grams from this stick versus last years 1X Lite
- Improved Durability – Bauers TeXtreme asymmetrical carbon fiber weave system is found in many other models as well as the FlyLite and for good reason – It helps the stick stand up to hacks and slashes and keep its pop for longer!
- Tough to find much wrong with this stick – As you would expect it is priced at a premium being a top tier model
The Vapor FlyLite is another amazing entry into the series by Bauer. If you have a perfectly good 1X Lite do we recommend you throw it in the trash and pick up a FlyLite? Definitely not. However if you are in the market for a top tier low kick point stick, we would in that case without hesitation point you towards the FlyLite. Lightweight yet durable, with tons of innovation to keep you sniping top shelf, this is the stick to buy if you are a forward.
2. CCM Jetspeed FT2 - Best Stick For Shooters
Specifications and Features:
- Hybrid Flex Profile – Having flex points in multiple spots allows you to vary your shot types without suffering a performance loss
- X-Flow Technology – This is a proprietary CCM technology that removes any excess resin and voids to increase shaft quality and durability.
- JF-80 Blade – CCM’s brand new JETFUEL-80 blade is lightweight and features a dampened core for better feel handling the puck
- Versatile Shot Selection – The Jetspeed no longer has solely a mid-kick kick point, but instead utilizes a hybrid kick point to allow you to load shots up from multiple spots on the shaft
- Great Feel– The JETSPEED-80 blade has internal damping, which makes receiving passes or stick handling feel much smoother as opposed to blades using solely a hard carbon fiber throughout
- Sigmatex Material – CCM Uses Sigmatex on most of its top of the line sticks (Super Tacks AS2, Trigger 4) and I honestly have found that it does increase the life of the stick
- R-Geometry – The Jetspeed shaft features R-Geometry offering rounded corners with concave sides. This will help with the feel of the shaft in your hand as well as energy transfer to the blade
- Being a hybrid kick point stick, it does not necessarily excel in quick shots like the FlyLite or like the CCM Trigger 4 would. If you are an in tight type of player and don’t utilize a wide variety of shots we wouldn’t point you towards the Jetspeed
A fantastic stick for forwards looking to snipe in close, take one timers, slapshots, and everything in between. If you are a shooter first, this is a great choice, and this is backed up by the Jetspeed having the highest adoption rate in the NHL right now with (at the time of this writing) being the most used stick in the NHL having 22% of players using it!
3. True AX9 - Best Stick For Stickhandling
Specifications and Features:
- FiberShield – True’s advanced resin system aids in durability and helping with ‘pop’ longevity
- BRT+ BladeTech – True has this technology in the XC9 as well, which they use to create a stronger, lighter blade with good heel durability
- SmartPly– SmartPly is True’s carbon fiber weaving process, which aids in durability and weight reduction
- Axenic Technology – This is where True’s legendary feel they put into their sticks comes from, using a true one piece compression molded shaft
- Excellent Durability – True brings a whole suite of technologies to the AX9 to enhance its durability. BRT+ Blade Tech, SmartPly, and Fibershield are all True technologies they use to help ensure your stick lasts!
- Low Kick Point – True has placed the kick point of the AX9 in the bottom third of the shaft, allowing you to effortlessly load up explosive shots
- Amazing Puck Feel – The BRT+ blade really feels amazing when you are stick handling and receiving passes
- The AX9 is neither the lightest nor the most explosive stick we tested, but we are talking very small differences. If you prize puck feel above all else, you aren’t sacrificing much to get it here.
True’s newest stick really shines when it comes to puck feel and stickhandling ability. You will know when you get the perfect shot off with the feedback the stick gives you, as well as when you’ve received the perfect pass.
Hockey Stick Sizing and Choosing Flex
As a forward there are some crucial decisions you will have to make when selecting your stick. Where should your curve start? Should the face be open or closed? Should the stick be short, stock, or extended with a plug? Read on to see our suggestions!
As a forward we recommend you either go with a standard stick length for adults / senior stick users, or cut it down slightly. As a forward your stick should rarely come above your chin while on skates. There are of course exceptions to this rule in the NHL and other pro leagues, but you are going to want a mid length to shorter stick. Faster shots, better snap and wrist shots, quicker one timers, and better hands in tight will all be a benefit of not playing a stick that is too tall for you.
As a forward in today’s game we really recommend you play with a lower flex. Players like Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and many others use a much lower flex than you’d imagine to really be able to rip quick snapshots and one timers. Alex Ovechkin is 6’3, probably weighs around 220 lb during the season, and uses a 75-85 flex depending on the situation.
If you are younger and smaller, we recommend sticking with intermediate flexes for as long as you can.
If you are older and you don’t take many slapshots, 75-85 flex will be great depending on your height and weight.
If you A) are very tall or heavy or B) love taking slapshots and one timers from all over and thats your game, then and only then would we recommend moving up to 95 or higher flexes.
How do you choose from the seemingly infinite amount of curve choices? I can point you to a good curve for beginners but lets dive into the different types of curves first so you can choose based on your playing style.
Curve (Heel/Mid/Toe) – For a forward we would recommend a mid to toe curve. There is a reason you see the best players in the game using wicked looking curves, because it allows them to elevate the puck in the least amount of time and space necessary.
Lie – Lie doesn’t really change based on position. The blade should be flat on the ice for the majority of the time you are skating or shooting, not when you are standing up straight.
Face (Open/Closed) – We recommend using an open face as a forward. Being in tight for a lot of shots, you are going to want to elevate the puck quickly and repeatedly. Go for an open faced curve.
Recommendation – Curve patterns and names change quite often, so just look for what we have suggested on your favorite brand. A mid or toe curve with an open face to allow you to saucer pass off the heel, all while sniping bar down from in tight off the toe!
We don’t really have to get to in depth here. You are going to be buying a one piece composite stick, likely with a proprietary form of carbon fiber weave. Don’t bother looking at wooden or two piece sticks.
As always, every stick on our list is a winner. If we had to pick a winner, the Bauer Vapor FlyLite is our top pick, but any stick on this list is great and should help you start racking the points up in your league.