The Stanley Cup has been raised (by the Penguins, again), Gary Bettman widely booed as per tradition, the draft is over, and the first signings of free agents have been announced. With that, the long summer of the NHL offseason begins.
The light at the end of the tunnel, of course, is the start of the new season, but also the latest instalment in EA Sports’ long running ice hockey franchise - polished once more for a new year. As we wait, it’s time to look at players who should find themselves with markedly increased stats owing to their recent performances.
Yes, veteran winners Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin ultimately lifted hockey’s biggest prize, but new, bright young forces were also making waves all over the league. On top of that, seasoned players have enjoyed well-timed upturns in production and form, allowing their teams to take the fight to the established ruling class of the NHL.
While the Pittsburgh Penguins repeated as champions, and other established superstars had their usual terrific seasons, the next generation of hockey stardom and other unusual suspects have made their marks on the league. As such, they can expect to see a substantive ratings boost in NHL 18.
So take note, NHL fans. These are the guys who’ll not only reap the benefits of newly upgraded stats in the game, but will be cornerstones of their rosters for years to come - and highly advantageous to play as on your next Be a Pro campaign.
Chest thumping James Bond fanatic, reader of books of the written variety, and Game of Thrones aficionado living in China. Once had a fever dream about riding a rowboat with Davos Seaworth. Hopelessly dedicated to prestigious TV dramas (and Star Trek), movies, sports, and Haruki Murakami novels, he particularly revels in top 10 lists with titles that end with "...of all time." Currently neglecting his pollution mask in Tianjin.