As hockey fans make the transition to golf season in the wrap up of the 2014-2015 NHL season, EA Sports has kept its head in the game in preparation for the next iteration of its longstanding hockey series, NHL 16. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the next installment has been which athlete will be featured on the cover of the next Electronic Arts hockey game, and now that question has finally been answered.
It turns out the cover of NHL 16 will feature two athletes on the front of the box instead of one, and both originate from the current Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. For anyone that knows anything about the team, the obvious picks are Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and that’s exactly the duo that’ll be featured on the cover.
The announcement was made during the NHL Awards, in which the most talented players in the National Hockey League were awarded trophies based on their performances this past season. Jonathan Toews came out on stage with the Stanley Cup in tow for the big announcement, and while his teammate Patrick Kane didn’t join him, the crowd in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was understandably excited for the pair of all-star players.
This method of determining the cover athlete is not something that fans have become accustom to, as the past few years have featured a cover vote – with players logging votes to decide the cover star of the next NHL game. While that was missing this time around, it’s hard to argue with the decision to feature two of the most dominant players in the league today.
Oddly enough, both Kane and Toews were featured separately on the covers of NHL 10 and NHL 11, respectively, which is sure to agitate hockey aficionados hoping for a newer face to greet them on the cover this year. Fortunately, NHL 16 will reportedly be a return to form of sorts for the series after last year’s installment removed a number of fan-favorite modes – leading to less than stellar review scores and harsh feedback from longtime followers of the franchise.
It’s hard to determine which of the many talented players deserve to be featured on the cover of NHL, although we managed to come up with five, but there’s no debate that EA Sports chose wisely given the Chicago Blackhawks’ current standing in the league. Suffice to say, it’ll be interesting to see if NHL 16 manages to be as successful with consumers as its cover athletes have been in the pros.
What do you think of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane occupying the cover of NHL 16? Are there other players you would have preferred to see? Get at us in the comments.
NHL 16 will arrive for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 15, 2015.