A player with limited offensive skills but known for his hard work and for his checking ability. A grinder is usually a third or fourth line forward who rarely plays on the top two lines or on the power play except to replace an injured or missing player.
Many grinders are good defensive players that forecheck well and that are good at neutralizing skilled opponents. These types of grinders will usually be matched up against the opposing team's top offensive players or play on the penalty kill. Some grinders are larger forwards that are good body checkers and use their size and their physicality to stop opposing players.
While grinders are not usually known for their offensive abilities, some grinders are effective goalscorers. A good example is former Philadelphia Flyers captain Bobby Clarke, who had four 30-goal seasons and 1210 points during his NHL career, but was also an elite defensive player and a hard worker.