The post-season is the best time of year for hockey fans, and the reasons for that have started to go well beyond the action on ice.
For the past few seasons, the team at EA Sports has started slowly releasing information about the next iteration of the NHL video game franchise during the playoffs, and the hype train is ready to get rolling for NHL 17 with the release of the game’s first trailer. While there’s not a ton of actual gameplay footage featured in the 90-second preview of what’s to come in NHL 17, there are some hints as to what gamers can look forward to.
One facet of the game that appears as if it will get an overhaul is the ‘Be A GM’ mode, which looks like it will dive deeper into front office management than any current generation game has. Check out the trailer and see what you can pick up:
It might appear that most of the trailer is made up of actual NHL action, but there’s actually a lot to take in from the in-game footage.
One of the additions that’s on full display in the trailer — and one that’s going to be loved by fans — is the ability to relocate franchises within ‘Be A GM,’ if the mode is even still called that once the game is released. The franchise-controlling mode looks as though it will offer increased control of the financial aspects of the team, jersey creation and possibly even arena creation.
As well as changes to the franchise mode, it appears the addition of the World Cup of Hockey will be made, as well as the inclusion of the smaller, less noticeable changes. Among the finer details, it appears there will be new sets of gameplay animations and potentially new celebrations, as seen in the closing shot and post-video screen. Claude Giroux’s sheathing of his stick, Alex Ovechkin’s “hot stick” and Joe Thornton’s sliding celebration all appear in the final 15 seconds of the trailer.
To coincide with the release of the trailer, EA Sports also opened up its cover vote for fans to select who will be the face of NHL 17. Eight players have been entered into the running for the vote, separated into four matchups. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski is up against Kings star Anze Koptiar, Panthers youngster Aleksander Barkov faces off against Stars sniper Jamie Benn, Oilers phenom Connor McDavid and Flyers winger Jakub Voracek are head-to-head and the final matchup pits Blues scorer Vladimir Tarasenko against Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.
The cover vote will be decided in three stages, with the first round of voting closing May 2, the second round ending May 9 and the final matchup going from May 10-16. The cover athlete will be announced at the NHL Awards in June, at which time EA Sports will also air the first full gameplay trailer.