I have been playing hockey since 2000 (when you could start checking). I was the enforcer right out of the gate. I loved the controlled aggression culture that is hockey. You can fight and get a 5 minute penalty and be friends with the person after the game.
Hockey isn't just about aggression I soon found out in my adult days. Playing adult hockey, I seem to join the young pups league (18-30) cup or advanced league out here in Missoula, MT that is full of ex- or current junior players, college club players, Alaskan, Minnesota, Wisconsin badasses, even some ex- NHLers which has made me a lot better and more competitive than I have ever been.
Somethings I have learned are :
- Keep your head up, even in adult hockey.
- Be a team player and you'll win.
- Learn to be aware of teammates and pass to them.
- New equipment actually helps. New Skates and Sticks are the main two.
- Being situational aware of bounces, goalie, defenders, etc. is key to scoring.
- Back check, be in the way of the other team and always have a strong stick.
Some, bonus skills beside effort would be (not sure if exact terms or spelling):
- Side Skating
- Sauce Passing
- Bounce off the board Pass