While the yearly titled was officially announced prior to E3, EA Sports was poised to fully unveil the new game at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. During the awards, it was revealed that Edmonton Oilers Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid would be gracing the cover of this year’s game. “Representing NHL 18 as the cover athlete is an incredible honor,” said Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers®. “I’ve played EA SPORTS NHL every year since I was kid. To appear on the cover, something that has been done previously by so many players that I respect and admire, is very exciting. I can’t wait to play NHL 18.”
There was more to just the awards ceremony and the game unveiling last night. The new NHL franchise, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, also publicly conducted its Expansion Draft. This will also be a new implementation into the Franchise Mode in NHL 18. This will be the first time the series has seen something like this since the Nashville Predators game into the league (the mode was offered in NHL ’99). Players can either select the Golden Nights, or create their own 32nd team and conduct the draft. This is a mode that sports games have needed for quite some time.
Channeling its inner arcade desires, NHL 18 introduced 3-on-3 hockey known as NHL THREES. While the series offered a 3-on-3 arcade mode a few years ago, it never caught on well. With the direction of the sport focusing on speed, the developers thought this would be a good time to offer an extremely exciting aspect. There’s a huge shift in the sport of hockey right now, where a new generation of young players are bringing more speed, skill and creativity to the game than we’ve ever seen,” said Sean Ramjagsingh, Lead Producer, NHL® 18. “NHL 18 is all about capturing everything that’s great about the new NHL. Creative Attack controls let our players show off all the skill and highlight-reel moves they can imagine, while NHL THREES brings the speed and excitement of 3-on-3 hockey to the game.”
The Creative Attack mentioned from the Sean Ramjagsingh will bring the ultimate controls to the skill stick. This was showed off a bit in the first teaser released for the game. There will be a public beta available starting July 25 and it will include three modes: NHL THREES, EA SPORTS Hockey League, and Online Vs. For full details and to sign up now, visit www.easports.com/nhl/beta. NHL 18 will release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 15 and EA Access members can play up to 10 hours starting September 7. Starting today, players can pre-order the EA SPORTS NHL 18 Young Stars Edition and EA SPORTS NHL 18 Young Stars Deluxe Edition, which each include three days early access to the full game starting September 12th and Connor McDavid content, including a Connor McDavid Rookie HUT item, a Connor McDavid celebration, and a custom HUT jersey designed by adidas and Connor McDavid. The Young Stars Edition also features 20 Gold Plus Packs for Hockey Ultimate Team and a Rookie HUT item from a team of the player’s choice. The EA SPORTS NHL® 18 Young Stars Deluxe Edition includes all these perks plus an additional 20 Gold Plus Packs for Hockey Ultimate Team.