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When you look at the subject of what equipment NHL players are using and why, you can split this up into categories. The first one is endorsement deals, sponsorships or powered by. The second is equipment masking, and the third and final category is player preference.

Endorsement and sponsorships deals

Some NHL players are endorsed by specific brands. This means they are contacted (and paid) to use those brands. So in other words, this means you won’t see them publicly using their brands competitors. This is no secret and happens openly in professional sports.

Equipent masking

This might be a point that not everyone watching and playing ice hockey may be aware of. Equipment masking isn’t something that one brand is guilty of.. pretty much all of the big name brands will do this from time to time. For example, if you see an NHL player using a specific pair of skates branded as “model Y”. That doesn’t actually mean that they are model Y. Under the branding, logos and colours, they could be something totally different. Some NHL players have access to a level of equipment customisation that your average hockey players does not. I’m not talking about retail stock vs pro stock but something entirely different. The reason these details are kept quiet, is to ensure competitor brands never get the information regarding what a top tier NHL player uses. The aim is to ensure a player remains with their brand and isn’t offered a better deal else where. There is of course the requirement to also keep this information away from regular players who buy specific equipment in the aim of emulating their NHL ideals.

Player preference

This final category simply breaks down to a player knowing exactly what they prefer to use. Some hockey players are open to experimenting with new equipment, while others are not.

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