Best Hockey Gloves: 2017-2018 Season
Most people probably pay attention to hockey gloves only when they’re being dropped.
But players pay great attention — and they’re particular. There were 40 different glove models in use by NHL players at the end of the regular season, sold under eight different brands. CCM was the most-used brand, but its top-selling model wasn’t as popular as the line-leaders from Bauer and Warrior.
Finding the Right Fit
Gloves, primarily, serve as protection — from sticks, puck, skates, the ice and boards — and they do so not by merely padding the hand, but by preventing fingers and thumbs from being bent backward.
There are three common glove fits: classic, tapered and anatomical. Classic is the loosest-fitting, anatomical the closest.
The cuff is another area of variance. Long cuffs offer more protection, short cuffs greater mobility — and, if used in tandem with slash guards, the protection difference can be mitigated.
All good gloves have thumb locks, a hard piece of plastic that prevents the thumb from being bent backward.
But what are the best gloves? Ranked not by sales or reviewers’ opinions, here are the five best hockey gloves by use among NHL players in the 2017-18 season.
5. CCM CL Pro — 7.0 percent of NHL players
CL stands for “crazy light,” which is the drawing card of this tapered glove. Thirty-six percent of the league wears CCM gloves, and between the CL Pro and the CL 500, nearly a quarter of that share is in the “Crazy Light” line.
Notable players using these gloves: Jake Gardiner, Brent Burns, Seth Jones
4. Warrior Dynasty AX1 — 7.7 percent of NHL players
This classic-style glove is one of three traditional 4-roll gloves Warrior delivers to NHL players. The Franchise came first, but its popularity waned with the introduction of the Dynasty. The Alpha QX line, introduced in 2017, hasn’t managed to eclipse the Dynasty, a popular choice with defensemen.
Notable players using these gloves: Brad Marchand, Michael Frolik, Zdeno Chara
3. CCM HG12 — 8.3 percent of NHL players
One of 13 models worn across the NHL, the HG12 is made for mobility. Besides the traditional three padding segments across the fingers, the HG12 has seven separate padding segments on the back of the hand.
Notable players using these gloves: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Filip Forsberg, Jonathan Marchessault
2. Warrior Covert QRL — 8.4 percent of NHL players
The most popular of Warrior’s seven glove models to see ice time in the NHL is all about the cuff. The company bills its “AxyFlex” cuff as a floating cuff that covers the wrist from slashes and slides out of the way during stick-handling.
Notable players using these gloves: Johnny Gaudreau, Nicklas Backstrom, Ryan Getzlaf
1. Bauer Vapor 1X — 15.9 percent of NHL players
Three layers of foam, of varying densities, highlight this tapered glove. Further, Bauer claims to use the fastest-drying fabric in hockey. The Free Flex cuff is designed for more flexibility and a wider fit to enhance stick-handling.
Notable players using these gloves: Nikita Kucherov, Taylor Hall, Patrik Laine