Wow. This whole no hockey/quarantine thing is absolutely brutal huh? I don’t know about you guys spread across this great planet, but I have been playing a LOT of old NHL games while having whatever game NBCSN is replaying. With what’s going on, you do what you can to get your hockey fix. Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, which would be all of you reading this, I am a massive gear nerd, especially when it comes to sticks. I distinctively remember during my senior year of high school, I would spend my free periods learning about all the different sticks that were on the market then. For those of you who read my intro blog, you’ll remember all I cared about in high school was hockey and this sums it up perfectly. That was how I built up my base knowledge, and it’s just kind of snowballed since.
Bauer is one of the most well known brands out there and what most people I’ve played with have used for as long as they can remember. I myself was Bauer head to toe in college. Bauer, in my opinion, was at its peak in the early-mid 2010s and has since declined a little in terms of control of the market. That doesn’t mean that the quality of their sticks has gone down. If anyone reading this works for Bauer, let it be know that’s not what I’m saying and I would love a sponsorship. What I’m saying is that the competition has gotten so much better. Some players who used to be Bauer athletes, and even spokesmen for a certain stick line have since switched to different brands. Both Ovechkin and Auston Matthews switched from Bauer to CCM, while Dylan Larkin and Brad Marchand switched to Warrior. That being said, I notice them to be the favorite amongst beer leaguers everywhere, which I’m guessing is the majority of people reading this. So relax and let me tell you about Bauer’s three lines of sticks.
Even though I haven’t used one in a game since high school, the Vapor line remains my favorite Bauer stick. The FlyLite is the latest entry in their low-kick stick family and features the XE Taper Technology inspired by the old Easton Stealth CX. Low-kick sticks are known for their quick release and are best for players who almost exclusively take wristers and snapshots, like yours truly. You sacrifice just a bit of power in order to get the puck off your stick faster. If that worries you, I don’t know do some wrist curls. Another common theme with low-kick sticks is that they usually have better puck feel, so you’ll often see guys who like to dangle choose a low-kick stick. Some notable players using this in the NHL are Claude Giroux, Patrick Kane, and Jack Hughes.
Something worth noting about the Vapor line is the release of their limited edition Vapor ADV two years ago. It became such a hit that it’s something they’ve been actively integrating into their future Vapor sticks. A lot of NHL guys used that original ADV stick when it came out and had it painted to look like the stick that was available to everyone. That technology was carried over into the 1X Lite and the FlyLite and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon.
Nexus 2N Pro
The Nexus line is what I currently use, mainly because the stick I’ve had for the last 3 years still hasn’t broken. The 2N Pro is the current version of the stick, and we should see a new one being released pretty soon. The Nexus line has long boasted Bauer’s Sweet Spot Technology that’s designed to get as perfect a flex as possible when you shoot even if you don’t have perfect hand position. Nexus sticks have a traditional mid-kick point and are usually liked by those all-around type players who take every kind of shot. Bauer also associates control and accuracy with their Nexus line, so it’s great for guys who want to pick corners. David Pastrnak is the most well known player using the stick, but you’ll also see it in the hands of Jonathan Toews and Kevin Hayes.
Ok I can’t write a blog about Bauer sticks without talking about the Nexus ADV. You know that stick Bauer put out with a damn hole in the blade? Talk about absolutely wild. My understanding when it comes to the hole is that the area of the blade above the hole is super stiff and the area beneath it is much softer. This apparently creates what Bauer calls a “slingshot” effect to get more pop on your shots. Honestly, I’m not sure why they couldn’t do that adding a hole in the blade. But you know what? It got us all talking about it and every hockey YouTuber made a video about it. So even though only one player in the NHL regularly uses it (and that’s Jake DeBrusk), I’d say Bauer more or less achieved what they were trying to when they thought of this stick.
Supreme 2S Pro
Coming in last in this blog is one of Bauer’s oldest lines, with the 2s Pro being the most recent addition. Just like the Nexus line, we should see a new one released soon. The Supreme line of sticks is what Bauer calls their high-kick stick line. It features their Extended Transfer Zone technology to maximize power on shots regardless of hand position. Basically what I’m saying is this stick is a dream for guys who simply want power on their shots. It’s best for D-men ripping shots from the point or power play specialists shooting one timers from Ovi’s office. If you’re the kind of player that really leans into their shot and want to rip the net, the Supreme line might be the right choice. Some players using this stick are Jack Eichel, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov.
Similar to the previous two lines, Bauer released an ADV stick for the Supreme line. From what I understand, it’s the same technology and specs, just lighter. My assumption is that a lot of guys use it and have had it painted to look like the normal 2S, because why wouldn’t you right? Eichel did use the full on neon green version, which is how you buy it in the store, but has since switched to at least 2S graphics if not a regular 2S stick.
Also worth noting is that Bauer has the Shadow Series, which are just blacked out versions of the previously mentioned sticks. Could be cool if you like the all black look. Anyway, I want to make this a series and pretty much use it as kind of an overview of what’s out there right now. I’ll send out updates in the future when companies release new sticks, like when Bauer drops the new Nexus and Supreme sticks coming up. Part of what I want to do with this is potentially lead a player down the path to finding their perfect stick. These would just be recommendations, though. Every player is different and has their own preference, so weigh this however you want. Stay safe out there!