Although the Stanley Cup playoffs are currently underway in the middle of August for the first time, in any other year, we would be in the middle of the offseason right now. On top of all the signings and moves that come with the offseason, hockey fans also use this time to look forward to the annual reveal of the newest EA Sports NHL video game.
Regardless of the fact that the hockey season is still going on, EA Sports has revealed their first trailer for their new NHL 21 video game, and it looks great.
Last year, Toronto Maple Leafs star centre Auston Matthews had the honour to grace the cover of NHL 20. This year, Washington Capitals star captain Alex Ovechkin will be the cover athlete. This is his second time on an EA Sports video game cover, after he was the cover athlete for NHL 07 as well. Check out the trailer below:
The short trailer mainly highlights Ovechkin as the cover star, but also showcases some new improvements, including updated graphics, new moves such as the “Michigan goal,” popularized by Andrei Svechnikov and Nikita Kucherov’s “no move” move, and a tease at an updated Be a Pro mode where you see a created player in a team dressing room.
The trailer also features two cameos from Toronto’s own Matthews. First, he is shown describing the time he was at the game where Ovechkin famously scored his on-the-back goal against the then-named Phoenix Coyotes. Once again, we also see Matthews leading a group of young stars in the league, illustrating Ovechkin’s influence on the new generation.
In addition to what was shown in the trailer, EA developers have revealed that Be a Pro mode will in fact be upgraded, allowing players to “live the life of an NHL player, on and off the ice.” The game will also include new features like the trade deadline being a full-fledged event in Franchise mode, ranked seasons and HUT Rush, a new version of Hockey Ultimate Team.
A very important addition to the game to note are its new player and safety reporting features. EA has vowed to make the game and its community safer for everyone, so players can now easily report other players and teams who engage in behaviour that is racist, xenophobic, homophobic or sexist. This has been a real problem in past games, and I am happy that there are steps being made to combat it.
NHL 21 will be available worldwide on Oct. 16 for Xbox One and Playstation 4. If you pre-order the Great Eight edition or the Deluxe edition, you can play it three days early.