EA has announced Alex Ovechkin as the NHL 21 cover athlete, which is scheduled to release on October 16 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This is the second time Ovi has been on the cover of an EA NHL game, as he was also the cover athlete for NHL 07.
Ovechkin has been one of the most influential and impactful players in hockey and has become something of a muse for the development team, mapping the game’s innovation against the game-changing impact he has had on the sport. This iteration of the franchise brings to life a revamped Be A Pro experience, expanded creative gameplay, the new Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) RUSH, and World of CHEL additions offering players the opportunity to create an Ovechkin-esque style and legacy.
NHL 21 delivers a fresh feel to the franchise with an overhauled Be A Pro mode. The brand new Be A Pro experience enhances the game’s narrative and quality of life, giving players the chance to live the life of an NHL star, both on and off the ice. Impress the front office, go early on draft day, and chase greatness as players earn a spot on the first line, compete for the Stanley Cup, and become the league’s next best. Players can work their way from a chippy bottom six forward to a must-see superstar.
Gameplay in NHL 21 has also gotten smarter, faster and a whole lot flashier with innovative moves and massive improvements on both sides of the puck. Players now have more options than ever before to take control of the game and impose their playstyle on opponents. Players can dazzle with slips, banks and chips, while pulling off some of the most recognizable superstar-inspired moves. However, players will also have to deal with improved goalie positioning and control, as netminders are adapting to the game’s skill level faster than ever before with brand-new desperation moves and animations.
This year’s iteration also takes HUT, the game mode that allows players to create their fantasy lineup of NHL players, alumni, and icons, and compete with them online, to the next level with HUT RUSH. HUT RUSH is a streamlined version of HUT that lets players jump into HUT games quickly, rack up achievements, and unlock rewards by scoring with style. With a scoring system that rewards skill and creativity, HUT RUSH will provide plenty of cannot miss moments.
In World of CHEL, the new Ranked Seasons allow players to compete across each of the four modes – ONES, THREES, Drop-In or Clubs – to earn rewards and play in the new EASHL Club Finals. Player and team success will be rewarded with unique gear, items and vanity sets to flaunt domination.
Additionally, Franchise Mode adds an exciting experience for one of the marquee events of every season: the Trade Deadline. Players will feel the pressure of the approaching deadline with real-time updates that lead to important decisions on which players to target and trade for. Just like the real trade deadline, the market value of players will fluctuate as the day goes on, and live trade alerts will move rapidly via the trade deadline ticker.