I play forward and for a long time I would hear the terms “forchecking” and “backchecking” but didn’t really know what they meant. Here’s the best way I can define them:
Forechecking means putting pressure on the opposing team while they are in their defensive zone. The purpose of forechecking is to disrupt a breakout and regain possession of the puck while in your offensive zone. If you’ve played basketball, this is similar to “full court press[ure]”.
Backchecking, simply put, means to hustle back to your defensive zone to prevent the other team from attacking and scoring.
Forwards who are only offensively minded won’t be an asset to their team. Every player on the ice has a responsibility to regain possession of the puck. A well-rounded forward understands that forechecking and backchecking are equally important as shooting and passing.