Beating opposing defenders in NHL 21 takes more than just using fast players. Breaking through a defense takes hockey smarts and some nifty dekes. Using dekes at the right time can help you get past some tough defensemen and forwards and help set up some nifty plays. And if you use the right deke at the right time, it can even help you put the puck right past the opposing netminder.
In NHL 21, there are various moves and dekes that you can pull off, ranging from simpler ones like a touch or slip deke, to more challenging ones like the Lacrosse (or Michigan) or the Kucherov (Fake Shot or No Shot). If you’re a newcomer to the NHL franchise, you may be wondering how to perform all these different dekes in NHL 21. We’ve got you covered, as we’ll go over all the controls you need to know, plus some tips on when you should use dekes.
First off, let’s go over two of the more simple controls you’ll need to know when performing dekes. For many of the dekes in NHL 21, you will have to know how to put the puck on your backhand and forehand. To put the puck on the forehand, shift RS/Right Stick to the right for right-handed shots, and vice versa for left-handed shooters. For the backhand, shift RS/Right Stick to the left for right-handed shots, and vice versa for left-handed shooters.
With that said, let’s go over the deke controls that you should know for NHL 21:
|Move||XB1 Controls||PS4 Controls|
|Backhand-Forehand||RS (Backhand control) + RS (Forehand control)||Right Stick (Backhand control) + Right Stick (Forehand control)|
|Forehand-Backhand||RS (Forehand control) + RS (Backhand control)||Right Stick (Forehand control) + Right Stick (Backhand control)|
|Backhand Toe Drag||RS + RS (Down)||Right Stick + Right Stick (Down)|
|Backhand Toe Drag Flip||RS + RS (Down) + RB||Right Stick + Right Stick (Down) + R1|
|Backhand Toe Drag Shot||RS + RS (Down) + RS (Up)||Right Stick + Right Stick (Down) + Right Stick (Up)|
|Backhand Toe Drag Pass||RS + RS (Down) + RT||Right Stick + Right Stick (Down) + R2|
|Left-Handed One Hand Deke||Backhand + LB + RS (Up and rotate to the left)||Backhand + L1 + Right Stick (Up and rotate to the left)|
|Right-Handed One Hand Deke||Backhand + LB + RS (Up and rotate to the right)||Backhand + L1 + Right Stick (Up and rotate to the right)|
|One-Hand Tuck (Forsberg)||Forehand + LB (Hold) + RB||Forehand + L1 (Hold) + R1|
|Between-the-Legs Shot||LB + RS + RS (Up)||L1 + Right Stick + Right Stick (Up)|
|Between-the-Legs Pass||LB + RS + RT||L1 + Right Stick + R2|
|Between-the-Legs Saucer Pass||LB + RS + RB||L1 + Right Stick + R1|
|Slip Deke (Must be performed by boards)||LB||L1|
|Touch Deke (Loose Puck Deke)||LB||L1|
|Windmill Deke||LB + RS (Left/Right)||L1 + Right Stick (Left/Right)|
|Toe Drag||RS (Down and rotate to the left)||Right Stick (Down and rotate to the left)|
|Spin-o-Rama||LT + Forehand/Backhand||L2 + Forehand/Backhand|
|Drop Pass||RB (Without LS)||R1 (Without Left Stick)|
|Board-bank Self-pass [Near boards]||LB + RT||L1 + R2|
|Behind-the-Net Self–pass||LB + RT||L1 + R2|
|Flip Deke||Backhand/Forehand + LB + RT||Backhand/Forehand + L1 + R2|
|Lacrosse Deke (Michigan)||Forehand + LB (Hold) + RS + RS (Down and rotate to the right)||Forehand + L1 (Hold) + Right Stick + Right Stick (Down and rotate to the right)|
|Stride Deke||LB + LS (Left)/LS (Right)||L1 + Left Stick (Left)/Left Stick (Right)|
|Fake Deke (Kucherov)||Stride Deke (Forehand) + RS (Backhand)||Stride Deke (Forehand) + Right Stick (Backhand)|
|Backhand Tap Back Deke||RS (Right) + LB + RS (Left) + LS (Right) + RS (Right)||Right Stick (Right) + L1 + Right Stick (Left) + Left Stick (Right) + Right Stick (Right)|
|Forehand Tap Back Deke||RS (Down and rotate to the right) + LB + RS (Right) + LS (Left) + RS (Left)||Right Stick (Down and rotate to the right) + L1 + Right Stick (Right) + Left Stick (Left) + Right Stick (Left)|
|Jump Deke||LB + RS (Up)||L1 + Right Stick (Up)|
|Skate Kick Deke||LB + RS (Down)||L1 + Right Stick (Down)|
|Through the Legs Deke||LB + RS (Down and rotate to the right)||L1 + Right Stick (Down and rotate to the right)|
Tips for using dekes in NHL 21
As far as nailing dekes down goes, some of the more advanced more just simply take time to pull off. Doing a stride or touch deke, for example, will not be as hard as, say, a backhand tap back deke. To get better at performing the more complex dekes, our advice is to just simply practice. A good way to pull off dekes is to go to the game’s Practice mode and select Free Skate. Here, you will be able to practice these moves against a goalie, and you don’t have to worry about AI or human defenders messing up your rhythm.
Second, it’s important to point out that many of the advanced dekes used for attempting shots will simply just not work against AI goalies very often. As a matter of fact, it’s extremely difficult to pull the Michigan or the Kucherov on a computer goalie in general. Keep this in mind if you plan on playing a lot of Be a Pro, Online Versus, and HUT. While it might seem like a good idea to attempt one of these moves so you can put in your personal highlight reel, we recommend that you don’t attempt these types of moves in 1-on-1 or 1P action. Unless, of course, you don’t mind wasting a good scoring chance.
Third, we’d also like to point out that timing is everything when it comes to dekes. Ensure that when you are performing a deke, you do so when the opposing defender is close to you. Doing so will offer you a better chance at succeeding with it, especially if you’ve suckered the opposing skater into your trap.
Which dekes should you focus on using the most?
These are the dekes that we recommend you frequently use:
- Touch Deke
- Slip Deke
- Toe Drag
- Windmill Deke
- Between-the-Legs Shot
- Through the Legs Deke
As we’ve mentioned previously, the key when deking is to steer away from the more complicated maneuvers, since those plays have a low percentage of success. Keep it simple when using a deke, make sure that you perform one at the right time, and watch the opposing defender or goalie carefully. If the opponent seems to have one of your moves under raps, try a different deke and catch the opposition off guard.