Know your options (boards, center, dman). When you pick up the puck you should always have 3 options. The winger by the boards, the center in the middle of the ice, and your defensive partner usually somewhere behind the net. You’re first option is to get the puck to the forwards but don’t force it. Hockey’s a simple game if you pass it to the open guy. If the forwards are covered and you’re running out of time, send it behind the net and don’t turn the puck over.
Is there pressure when you get the puck? Sometimes you’ll pick up the puck and the other team is already in your face. You’re not going to have time to skate or look around and you definitely don’t want to turn the puck over right in front of your net. Trust that your teammates are where they are supposed to be and get rid of the puck with one-touch pass or a shot around the boards. Even if they intercept the pass, they’ll pick it up along the outside and that will give your team time to regroup then if you turned it over right in front of the net.
If there is no pressure there’s no need to rush the pass. Take your time, and carry the puck up the ice until you find an open teammate. It’s ok for a Dman to carry the puck all the way into the offensive zone if the forwards are covered and the other team is giving you space. In drop-ins the forwards might yell at you but don’t listen to them, trust your reads and make the smart play.
Those are my tips for defenseman on the breakout. Make sure to communicate with your teammates. If your wingers not by the boards or your D partner isn’t behind the net limiting your options, talk about it, don’t yell at him and overall its about helping each other out and the team.