The NHL development team at EA Canada has opened the tap on the feature set for NHL 17 – and it's good it is getting these details in before the real-life NHL season's over since it looks like the Pens might be wrapping this thing up soon.
- Be A GM Adds Owners: The franchise mode is expanded to include team ownership decisions and goals. This means control over ticket prices, arena upgrades (more on that below), and even relocation. These features have been in Madden for a few years now, so it'll be interesting to see what EA Canada has learned from that implementation.
- World Cup of Hockey: All the teams, players, and unis of the upcoming international tourney.
- Draft Champions: Like FIFA and Madden before it, NHL is getting the quick-and-easy version of Ultimate Team for its own. No details on this just yet, so it will be interesting to see if the franchise puts its own spin on things and the buy-in amount.
- Hockey Ultimate Team: Pair players together for Synergy perks and collect new HUT sets for prizes that mirror what's going on in the real world.
- EASHL: Here you earn customization items for your team, players, and arena via a badge system.
- ECHL: The minor league has been added with 27 teams and their jerseys and players. There are 28 teams in the league, so one team appears to have been left out.
Creation & Customization
- Arena Creator: Whether for franchise relocation in Be A GM mode or for your EASHL team, you can choose your scoreboard, ice, goal light, songs (no word if this is via user upload), and arena lighting effects. I'm unclear if this is just for relocation, or if teams can upgrade their arenas in their existing cities.
- Player Customization: You can customize your team's uniform, including patches and logos, and items for these will be unlocked as you progress.
- Goalies: They have added animations and improved positional awareness. In addition, they can also do reactionary saves, and the goalie A.I. reads their own positioning, the angle of the shooter/puck, and the overall threat of the situation before triggering a save. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, and it's good to hear work is being put into this area.
- Elbow Alley: NHL 17 promises to improve the action down in front of the net, but there are no details on this important gameplay facet just yet.
- Aids: The on-ice trainer and feedback from coaches have improved, and there are more gameplay customization options. At this time, however, there are no additional details.
- Other Gameplay Improvements: Tweaked passing and puck pickups. More responsive defenders in terms of skating and stopping, and varied hits (pushing someone off the puck, rubbing someone out along the boards, and big hits).
For more related to NHL 17, check out our wishlist for the franchise.
Also be sure to tune in next week during E3, when we'll have our gameplay impressions of the new title.
[Source: EA Sports]