Engineering students at the University of Regina have invented a device that will return hockey pucks to the shooter.

Wes Taylor, Tyler Kenny and Joshua Hextall created the machine, which they call the E-Zee puck return system.

When a player shoots a puck into a regular hockey goal, it is directed to a battery-powered spinning wheel that slides the puck back.

With just a few pucks, a solo player can practice for as long as he or she hits the goal.

"It can be used by anybody who's looking to practice your shooting techniques [and] their receiving techniques while practising alone," Kenny said. 

hockey puck return

Wes Taylor, Tyler Kenny and Joshua Hextall (from left to right) worked on a puck return system for solo hockey practice. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

One of their goals was to make the system easy to move and assemble so that players as young as 10 could use it.

"You've got your baseball pitching machines, your football pitching machines, even a basketball return system. The ice hockey seems to have been left out of that. We wanted to address that," Kenny added.

The system uses panels to direct the puck to the spinning wheel that spits out the puck with enough force to return it to the shooter.

"With the prototype design we have it going to the top of the circles," Kenny said. "With the final design, the puck will shoot at 64 kilometres an hour at its max speed. So we're hoping to get it at least to the blue line before it will start slowing down."

The puck return system was among dozens of project designs on display at the U of R Saturday showcasing students' final graduation projects.

With files from CBC's Dean Gutheil