EA Sports is less than three weeks away from releasing their newest video game, NHL 18. They have spent the past few days revealing different player ratings, and a few Dallas Stars are included. Did they forget about a few?
There are a few reassuring signals/moments that help remind people that NHL hockey is just around the corner with each passing season. Training camp, the preseason, and even the end of August all serve as encouraging reminders.
But for the fans that still play video games on a regular basis, the annual edition of EA Sports’ NHL franchise is probably the most enticing signal.
For a college student like myself, the yearly NHL video game helps keep me entertained between the beginning of school and the beginning of the actual regular season. It’s a great way to get people into your room and also relieve stress whenever you and your opponent feel the need to knock the snot out of each other (in the game, of course).
In less than three weeks, EA Sports will add another installment to the shelves. NHL 18 will release on September 15 and will be available on the Xbox One and Playstation 4. If you have either console and are even remotely interested in hockey, it might be a smart idea to pick up a copy.
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There are plenty of new features in addition to the typical thrilling gameplay. And with the gameplay, you have free reign to choose whichever team to play with that your little heart desires. If you are reading this article, there’s a good chance that you will probably be picking the Dallas Stars.
And for good reason. After a thrilling offseason filled with additions and shuffling, the Stars are expected to be one of the most exciting teams in the NHL this year. Whether they will be championship-caliber or not has yet to be decided, but their play will likely be fun to watch.
Part of the reason why is because of the immense talent that Dallas has on the roster. Led by the young duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, the Dallas Stars have a stacked lineup with plenty of top-tier talent. The good folks over at EA Sports have definitely taken notice. But did they look for long enough?
Over the past few days, the EA Sports social media accounts have revealed the top 10 players at each position on the ice. The only position list they have yet to release is the right wing list.
The Dallas Stars have one undeniable center that almost has to be included: Tyler Seguin. He’s one of the brightest young talents in the league, is a top-line player with a Stanley Cup ring from 2011 and a point-per-game average in his time so far with the Dallas Stars. Seguin has insane speed, impressive handles, and a cannon of a shot. Oh, and he’s only 25.
Seguin came in at ninth on the list of top ten centers (though he is also tied for sixth) with a rating of 89 overall. In a review done by the NHL Network last week, Seguin was labeled as the eighth best center in the league.
In terms of the captain, Jamie Benn is the complete hockey player. He has handles, a smooth shot, great skating, defensive capabilities, physicality, and plenty of grit.
He’s the complete package. And EA obviously thinks so too, considering they labeled him as the number two left wing in the game at 90 overall. In the same study done by the NHL Network, Benn came in as the number five OVERALL winger in the NHL.
While Benn’s ranking is complete justified, you might be able to make a case for Seguin to be higher. But considering the eighth, seventh, and sixth players on the list have the same overall as him, it may be safe to say that “basically sixth” is proper enough.
But were there any snubbed Dallas Stars? Were there any players that should be on the list but missed the cut?
Though the right wings haven’t come out yet, don’t expect to see any Victory Green on the list. Alexander Radulov is the only classified RW on the Stars that has a legitimate claim at the top ten, but it’s probably too far of a stretch. He will likely land just outside in the 13-15 range after a stellar first season back in the NHL last year.
In terms of defensemen and goaltenders, there were no Dallas Stars to be seen.
On defense, there really isn’t a case to be made. After the disappointing season John Klingberg had in 2016-17, he quickly fell out of the top 10 conversation around the league. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t still one of the top defenders in the NHL, but he’ll need a solid 2017-18 to catapult him back into top ten talks. The rest of the defense is either young and still gaining experience or veterans that provide depth help.
But no Ben Bishop in the top ten goaltenders list? That one might have caught you off guard. Even in his worst year statistics-wise since 2012, Bishop still finished 2016-17 with a .910 save percentage and 2.54 GAA. He’s a solid goaltender that has an elite recent history and can still be an elite goalie. This year will be his chance to prove that.
But all in all, there was some good and questionable about the NHL 18 rankings. From the way it looks right now, the Dallas Stars will be a fun team to watch AND play with this year.