With the official start of the 2017-18 NHL regular season today, EA SPORTS and NHL 18 have released the results of their annual season simulation.
Powered by NHL 18, the season simulator predicts the Tampa Bay Lightning will triumph over the Edmonton Oilers and take home the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2004. After an eventful 7-game series and an action-packed 3-2 win in the final game, Tampa Bay Captain Steven Stamkos will lead the team to victory, resulting in the team’s second Stanley Cup win in franchise history after narrowly missing out in 2015.
Some other notable predictions from the season simulation include:
- The Pittsburgh Penguins, led by captain Sidney Crosby, continue their dominance of the Eastern Conference during the regular season and take home the President’s Trophy.
- NHL 18 cover athlete Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, for the second year in a row, becomes the most decorated athlete at the NHL Awards, with back-to-back wins of three major awards – the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award. McDavid joins an elite group of multi-year winners of these coveted awards, including Hockey Hall of Famers Guy Lafleur and Wayne Gretzky.
- Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning will take home the Conn Smythe Trophy for an exceptional post-season performance, as well as the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as highest goal scorer.
- In their inaugural season, the Vegas Golden Knights fall short a playoff spot finishing 14th overall in the Western Conference.
The EA SPORTS NHL season simulation is conducted annually by artificial intelligence that uses real-life data from each player. Results are determined by the videogame when two teams match up based on player ratings, line combinations, and include variances such as injuries and hot streaks to give a realistic outcome of a game or series.