The neutral zone trap is a defensive strategy used in the game of hockey to keep the offensive players from making it through the neutral zone with the puck. The idea behind the neutral zone trap is to force the player carrying the puck to lose it, thus forcing a turnover and giving the defending team a chance to gain control of the puck.
The defending team sets up so four players-usually both wings and both defense-remain in the neutral zone, while the center forechecks into the offensive zone. The center's job is to block the passing lanes from the puck carrier, forcing him to carry the puck forward into the neutral zone. Once the puck carrier reaches the neutral zone, the center stays toward the center of the ice, forcing the puck carrier along the boards. Two of the other defending team's players collapse in on the puck carrier, forcing him to dump the puck into their zone, forcing a turnover.