It won’t come as a surprise, but EA Sports has officially announced NHL 17, which it intends to release sometime next fall on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This will mark the series’ third outing on the current gen consoles, after a brief hiatus that was supposed to lead to a fantastic NHL 15. Of course, we all know how that turned out.
Little is known about what will be different in NHL 17, although EA Canada has posted a new trailer that is full of all the predictable PR hyperbole. As expected, it states that the game will be even better than its predecessors, thanks to improved gameplay in all three categories (offence, defence and goaltending). That’s what one would hope, of course, although I don’t doubt that the team in Burnaby is putting work in to make sure that next year’s outing is another step in the right direction. Last year’s game was definitely much better than NHL 15 — which became a debacle and an Internet joke — but there’s still room for improvement.
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We should also note that NHL 17‘s cover athlete voting process has begun. Only eight players have made the cut this time around, and they’re facing off against each other in one versus one, playoff-style brackets, which are as follows:
Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues) vs. Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers) vs. Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) vs. Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers)
Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks) vs. Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
As a Leafs fan, I’m disappointed that Morgan Rielly isn’t in the mix, but I completely understand why Electronic Arts would go with such a simplified selection process. All of these players are more than deserving, and I’ll be fine with any of them gracing the NHL 17 cover. That said, I’m most partial to Jamie Benn and Anze Kopitar.
Tell us, who do you want to see grace the cover of the game?