It is now official: puck and player tracking is coming to the NHL next season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the long-expected news Friday during his All-Star Weekend press conference in San Jose. The league is partnering with German company Jogmo World Corp. to put microchips on player jerseys and inside game pucks. Real-time data will be gathered by antennas in all 31 NHL arenas and will be helpful to fans, TV broadcast and general managers.
The technology will be tested during the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills tonight.
"The Puck and Player Tracking system can track pucks at a rate of 2,000 times per second in real-time with inch-level accuracy," Bettman said, per NHL.com. "We'll instantaneously detect passes, shots, and positioning precisely. It will be equally accurate in tracking players -- their movement, speed, time on ice -- you name it.
The NHL will join the NFL as the two major North American professional sports leagues with wearable tracking technology.
"As a league, we have made significant investments to create new technology that quite literally didn't exist," Bettman added, "We think many of our fans -- especially the innovation generations - - millennials and Gen Z -- are going to love this new frontier.
"These kinds of advancements are only possible with great partners, like the Fraunhofer Institute and their subsidiary, jogmo world. They've developed a system that met our standards not only for the puck and player tracking technology but also the engineering and manufacturing associated with this complex endeavor."
While pucks and players were tested in previous games, Bettman revealed some interesting data offered by the devices.
"Amazingly, within the confines of our 200 by 85-foot rink, Brent Burns and Jonathan Marchessault each skated more than 3 miles. William Karlsson skated over 20 miles an hour. And this is just the tip of the iceberg."
We can't wait to see more.