Hockey pucks that are used by the NHL, AHL, NCAA, ECHL, and other hockey leagues around the world are made using vulcanized rubber.
The term vulcanization of rubber means the rubbers’ strength and elasticity are improved by heating it. Basically, the process will heat and harden the rubber as it turns into a puck.
Vulcanization of rubber is also used for other items like bouncing balls, soles of shoes, and hoses to name a few.
Most hockey pucks will have a team and league logo silk screen printed on both sides.
Hockey puck size
The pucks used in professional hockey leagues are a regulation size of 3 inches in diameter, 1 inch thick, and weighs 6 ounces.
Some pucks used in minor leagues may weigh 4 ounces. These pucks are blue in color instead of black.
Before the hockey puck was created, hockey was played with a rubber ball over 150 years ago. Around the year 1875, the hockey puck was invented and the first known case of players using a puck was in Montreal, Canada. There they cut a rubber ball in half to form a flat disc.
In 1931, pucks were designed with a sloped beveled edge and in 1940, the standard design of the NHL hockey puck was created by Art Ross.
The official NHL puck was introduced in 1990 and is now a standard design, size, and weight.
How pucks are made
There are currently only 4 countries that manufacture hockey pucks. They are Canada, Russia, China, Czech Republic.
Normally pucks are made using 2 different methods based on what their intended use is.
Souvenir/practice pucks are made using a 40-foot long rubber tube where the rubber is packed inside. The rubber is pulled through the machine and cut at 4-5 inches thick. These pieces are dropped into the heated mold and compressed into form. It’s possible to make up to 10,000 pucks per day using this method.
Regulation game pucks are made by mixing granulated rubber with a bonding material by hand. The mixture goes into a 2 part mold at room temperature where it is compressed. Using this method, up to 5000 pucks can be made each day.
Read more about how pucks are made here.
Things you didn’t know about hockey pucks
Hockey pucks used in the NHL are frozen to prevent them from bouncing.
Pucks are naturally black in color due to the rubber being black. The puck manufacturer can change the color if desired. Blue pucks are commonly used in minor league games.
Players are able to shoot the puck at speeds over 100 MPH.
NHL game pucks are swapped out every few minutes as they can break down and chip easier as they heat up.