The EA NHL team released the latest Team of the Week, and I’m somewhat nonplussed by it. Nevertheless, let’s go through some of the biggest players in it.
LIT. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GDSPykT1uk
— #NHL20 (@EASPORTSNHL) November 20, 2019
As you can tell, some of the big names here are Kucherov, MacKinnon, Hedman, Heiskanen Couture and Tatar.
Starting with MacKinnon, the big problem with him is his faceoffs are only 81. He is a 6-footer, which is the minimum for centers I like, and he’s got great shooting and skating attributes. But again, the faceoffs may keep him off your top line. The speed at 97 is really elite, but this again makes him more of an ideal winger in this form for me. It’s worth noting he does have 91 hand-eye, so he can be a good deflection machine if he gets in front of the net.
The top overall player in this Team of the Week set is Nikita Kucherov at 91 overall. Wingers can be smaller and effective, but there’s nothing wrong with being a bit bigger like Kucherov either. His wrist shot shooting looks very promising, and his 96 speed to go with his 93 deking are really good. For the way I like to play NHL, this card makes a lot of sense for me, and the 91 overall matches the strengths of this card.
Victor Hedman is always popular in NHL because he has size to go with usable speed. This card fits into that mold once again with 91 speed to go with a 6-foot-6 frame. His slap shot power and accuracy are not elite so that holds him back some, but he’ll continue to be a mobile defender who can do a good job shutting down top lines.
William Karlsson is another player to look at because I think centers are the major highlight in this set. His 82 faceoffs stat does best MacKinnon, but his shooting leaves a bit to be desired. He also doesn’t have elite hand-eye, but otherwise looks like a decent card. He fits into the two-way build as a lower-tier center for your team on the cheap.
Logan Couture is the other center in this set, and I put this card a rung below the other two centers. Again, I think everything starts with faceoffs for centers and his is only 80. His hand-eye at 84 is the worst of the bunch as well, and his shooting and skating aren’t incredible enough to quite offset that. I’m passing on this card.
I’m not in love with this Miro Heiskanen card because his 6-foot frame does not provide enough elsewhere to make up for going with a “smaller” top-line defenseman. His slap shot ratings do not stand out, and even though he has 93 speed, which is great, he’s more of a puck-moving second- or third-line defenseman to me at this stage of HUT.