Brand new for 2018, CCM Hockey and the Lefebvre family continue to work on one of the longest standing traditional lines, the Premier II. This is the newest incarnation since the landing of the original RBK Premier 1 back in 2005, and the line has gone through a lot of tweaks, modifications and new specifications to bring the lightest CCM pad to ever hit the retail market.
Looking right at the full set, you might not notice all of the specific tweaks and modifications, but we are here to break that down and show you the major changes along with the finer details. Note, this is just a preview and the On-Ice Review is releasing soon! Let’s start with the leg pads!
CCM breaks down the changes in the Premier II pad into 3 major sections; LiteCore Technology, Max Rebound Technology and the Quick Motion Strap System. First, the Premier II is now 20% lighter than the previous generation. 1/5 of the weight of the pad has been removed while still providing extreme structural integrity and one of the best seals along the ice.
This weight removal coupled with the Max Rebound technology and the reengineered core will help kick pucks with speed and velocity to the corner to give the proper amount of time to recover between shots and eliminating the opportunity for a rebound shot. The previous generations of all Premier pads were always known for harder rebounds, but expect the face of this pad to be hot!
Lastly, the Quick Motion strapping system brings out the first completely (leather) strapless Pro pad for CCM. While looking at the pad, you might think they just pulled straps off the pad and called it a day, but the design team has tweaked nearly every piece of the leg channel to properly maximize and feeling that the remaining elastic straps provide. The main straps supporting the leg are the 2 calf straps that are made of nylon and elastic. The top internal calf strap sits right at the calf muscle and Velcro’s on the inside of the leg channel to support the pad directly under the knee. This strap is made of elastic and will stretch with the goaltender when specific movements engage. Just below that top calf strap, across the middle of the leg, there is a large “double-back” strap which is made of nylon. The strap begins on the inner side of the sliding edge on the calf and feeds through a small loop on the outside of the calf wrap and closes back onto itself to secure the entire leg channel.
The leg channel has changed slightly from the ever popular “Tight Fit” design and the Premier II will show stock with the redesigned Loose Fit – no calf strap leg channel. Previously the Loose Fit design was an outer piece that sat on the side of the leg, but there were no segments in the foam to help wrap to the leg. There was a large segment and stitch line added on the outside of the leg to create some extra snugness on the leg if the goalie would like it, but the actual wrap itself it shortened on the outside edge. While this also saves a few ounces of weight, the main function is to provide the goalie with more freedom of movement to get the foot in the right place for all movements.
In the knee section, there is a still a Velcro knee lock strap but there is a slight improvement from the stock EF3 setup. The outer Velcro piece is still removable, however it is smaller in size to give the goalie a snug feel while reducing the possibility of the piece getting stuck under knee pads or hindering rotation.
When you see a blocker, the goalie thinks a blocker is just a blocker and I will never believe that. The Premier II blocker has specific parts which now heavily distinguish the function from the EF3 line. First, there is a new finger protection which is an upgrade to the old “Curved Finger Protection”. Now, the inside finger protection is laced in to create a large index finger rail to sit against the stick, but the lacing provides extra freedom of movement so the goalie can get the best grip. The final spec to showcase the full difference in the Premier II blocker lies is within the “One-Piece Cuff” design. This cuff sits a bit tighter on the wrist to allow the blocker to hug the arm, but it freely moves when flexed to give optimal movement. Mainly this spec change will help give the goalie more protection instead of a wide open wrist cuff that, at times, made the blocker feel a bit loose.
Now, everyone’s favorite piece of gear…the catch glove! The Premier II glove continues on the long standing tradition of the usage of the 590 break, but specific tweaks to the internal and pocket shape are new for 2018. Without drastically changing the closure, there are some tweaks to the backhand strapping to give the goalie the adjustability they are looking for. The palm features a full covering of D30 material to provide an extra layer of protection even on the game ready option. This new layering is visible on the outside of the glove to truly give the goalie the mental toughness they need. Next, the ever popular “Double Straight Tee” now shows stock to give the goalie ultimate visibility into the pocket while creating a soft basket for catching.
The 590 break is based off of the 60 degree catch angle, which was stock back on the Koho 590 almost 20 years ago. This break is one of the most natural closure angles for the bulk of goalies and gives a good game ready feel off the shelf. The cuff is still slightly larger when compared to the EF3 because it will help take up some space to block the negative space between the hand and body.
Overall, we are all excited here at GoalieMonkey because we know that CCM is continuing to elevate their most traditional line. With all of the strapping changes, weight reductions and specific tweaks to add protection we are pleased to carry the CCM Premier II line. Stay tuned for our on ice review!