Connect with us

NHL 21 Gameplay Trailer, Details & Screenshots

NHL 21

NHL 21 Gameplay Trailer, Details & Screenshots

EA has posted their official NHL 21 gameplay trailer today, featuring innovative moves and massive improvements on both sides of the puck. Players will have more options than ever before to take control of the game and impose their playstyle on opponents.

Gameplay adjustments affect all three areas of the ice, with more offensive zone creativity, smarter transitions through the neutral zone and active defense when protecting the net. From between-the-legs one timers, to desperation saves, NHL 21 adds a new array of innovations to create the most realistic gameplay to date.

  • Offensive Gameplay – Inspired by the creativity of Alex Ovechkin, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid and others, the team has added four groundbreaking new moves to the offensive arsenal – “no move” deke, behind the net bank, between-the-legs one timer and “The Michigan.” In addition to the highlight reel material, a multitude of slips, banks and chips help maintain speed and aggression when moving into the offensive zone.
  • Neutral Zone – The most dominant teams in the NHL use fluidity through the neutral zone to generate dangerous scoring opportunities. In NHL 21, AI has been improved to ensure that lines move as a unit in all three zones, filling the proper lands and gaps to make for smooth breakouts, crisp transitions and dangerous scoring chances.
  • Defensive Zone – In NHL 21 breakouts have become significantly more important, as AI updates see teams forecheck aggressively as a unit. Defensive strategy has been geared towards neutralizing speed and forcing offenses to move east and west instead of north and south. Goalies have improved control in responsiveness in all situations, allowing for never-say-die moments.

  • Superstar-Inspired Innovation – Find yourself behind the net and catch the defense sleeping? Scoop up the puck and tuck it under the bar for a jaw-dropping Michigan. Break the goalie’s brain with Kucherov’s no-deke deke. Score from an impossible angle with an insane between-the-legs one-timer just like Matthew Tkachuk. Shake off a pesky defender by banking the puck off the back of the net to create space, just like Sid. Each of these iconic moves created an unforgettable hockey moment; create your own in NHL 21.
  • Slips, Banks, and Chips – NHL 21 revolutionizes neutral zone play with the addition of slips, banks and chips. Get small and slippery along the boards as you squeak by a defender’s check. Bank the puck off the boards and around your opponent, or use the back of the net to do the same. Or just chip the puck past a flatfooted defenseman and burn him on your way to the goal.
  • Improved AI Hockey IQ – AI has been optimized to make sure that your teammates can break out on their own and hit you with a pass in stride so you can keep driving to the net. In addition, they’ll be better positioned and more open to the net for passes in the O-zone. On the other side of the puck, defensive AI will work harder to slow down the opposing team in the middle of the ice and block passing lanes when defending.

Gamesaving Goalie Desperation

Great goaltending is born out of calculated athleticism – being in the best position to make the stop, while having the athletic ability to quickly shut the door on an unexpected opportunity. New desperation saves and animations mean that you’re never out of it — there’s always a chance to make a jaw-dropping, acrobatic stop — even against your momentum.

Improved Goalie Control and Positioning

Goaltending controls have been reworked to use the right stick for more of your movements, making user controlled goalies more fluid and tactile. AI goalies are smarter when it comes to positioning — they’ll adjust and square up to the shooter’s approach angle to give themselves the best chance of making the stop.

NHL 21 launches worldwide October 16th, pre-order NHL 21 Great Eight Edition and get it 3 days earlier, on October 13. It includes the following:

  • Up to 10 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs (2 per month for 5 months)
  • HUT Synergy Veteran Choice Pack (Choice 1 of 10; +1 OVR per month until August 2021)
  • HUT Cover Athlete Choice Pack (Choice of: Ovechkin, Matthews, McDavid, Pettersson, Laine, Subban)
  • 3 Days Early Access
  • Be A Pro XP Boost and Bonus Trait and Specialization Points
  • 5 Unlocked World of Chel Hockey Bags

As for next-gen consoles, there won’t be a true PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X version, only forward compatibility.

18 Comments

Leave a Reply

Discussion
  1. Wow. The trailer actually mentions neutral zone play and that players will need to get creative for less "north-south" action.
    I'll need to see it to believe it, but this is the most I've been excited about an NHL gameplay trailer in YEARS...years.
    EDIT: Despite the talk about positioning and neutral zone play, there is a lot in the trailer to not like. Goalies still seem stiff and unrealistic. And the idea they spent so much time and resources on new dekes that happen so rarely in real NHL games is a bit troubling. Am I going to see the Michigan goal or Kucherov's no deke once per game now?
    I, like others, will need to wait and see on this. Some promising elements, but some that could be game-breaking for me.
    I miss the days when I got excited for NHL games. Hockey is my favourite sport but I haven't purchased NHL on release day for years now.
    What's the goalie doing during "the Svechnikov"?
    The goal at 1:55... I don't even know where to begin. They include that goal in a gameplay trailer that is supposed to show how the game is now more realistic?
    They are skipping a next-gen version this year right? Hopefully NHL 22 will be a new experience.
    I'm blown away that it's now been 6 years since I was even remotely interested in this franchise.
    For me at least, they really screwed it up with the XB1/PS4 console generation. It got off to a sluggish start and the improvements just haven't been there.
    To this day, I still prefer NHL 14/15/Legacy.
    I really hope next year brings a complete new generation rebuild.
    Lots of great gameplay stuff here. I'm excited to see more as we get closer to release. If there is truly less north-south stuff and better teammate AI, count me in.
    scagwi
    I'm blown away that it's now been 6 years since I was even remotely interested in this franchise.
    For me at least, they really screwed it up with the XB1/PS4 console generation. It got off to a sluggish start and the improvements just haven't been there.
    To this day, I still prefer NHL 14/15/Legacy.
    I really hope next year brings a complete new generation rebuild.

    I knew the moment they started touting the "floaty" jerseys that this gen might be in some trouble. I've yet to see jerseys waving as if the player is skating in a wind tunnel.
    This series made some decent jumps from 08-14 but then it just plateaued, which is pretty sad.
    Wow this actually sounds promising. Since they don't specifically say the defensive neutral zone has seen improvement, it's hard to say if that has been worked on. However it did seem like it got something based on the clip at the end of the Blackhawks player going back to intercept a pass. Although they didn't specifically mention that the neutral zone has been improved defensively, them stating the defense makes you go east, west, could mean the neutral zone is better for CPU defenses. We shall see though. The lack of a neutral zone when playing the compuater has been the number one thing holding this game back for me in terms of playing against the CPU. I've been waiting for that to happen since I figured out entering the offensive zone was too easy (NHL 09).
    The goalies were the 2nd thing that has always bothered me. Their movements were absolutely ridiculous. It appears that goalie movements look better but just like the neutral zone, gameplay video and playing the game is only going to show this.
    I haven't bought NHL since 16 and didn't play more than a few hours I'd venture to guess. The other years I've played were via EA Access and most of those I didn't even use up the 10 hours. I'd love nothing more than to buy this game again.
    One thing I found concerning is that they said this was the foundation for the future. Which means next gen is probably just gonna be more of the same game
    leafs nation
    Mark my words. This game will suck. So will the next one.

    Agreed. Next gen NHL better look and play better. Getting tired after all these years of mediocracy from EA.
    MizzouRah
    Lots of great gameplay stuff here. I'm excited to see more as we get closer to release. If there is truly less north-south stuff and better teammate AI, count me in.

    Agree. They showed a lot of user error on defense but if the teammate AI makes those same errors it’s all pointless
    I liked the deking, but am scared of the lecross goal or michigan goal, it looked like goalies had no defense against it, as it showed the average players using it, i liked the goalie animations, but i don't like no defense against it.
    i liked everythiing about, just lecross goal makes me cringe.:y6:
    Until this franchise moves to a new game engine...i think it will still suffer to hit that next level of ingenuity and feel stale year after year. The only things i care about are better ai, a wider skill gap between star players and benders, and revamped mocap/animations for goalies.
    They touched on better AI in the trailer which is nice. I will be interested to see how that plays out. But right now, other games are holding my interest enough that this will likely be a pass for me.

More in NHL 21

To Top