With the release of EA Sports’ “NHL 15” less than month away, here the top-rated players at each position. Filled with fan favorites, superstars and even a few legends, there’s no shortage of talent at every position this season.
Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf was rated a 92 overall after a 2013-14 season that saw him score 87 points, second only to Crosby’s 104 points and nab a Hart Trophy nomination.
The Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk was rated a 93 overall, despite playing in just 45 points and scoring just 37. A three-time Lady Byng Award winning and three-time Selke Award winner as the league’s best defensive forward, Datsyuk is one of the best overall players in the game, but didn't get too many chances to show it last season.
Chicago’s Jonathan Toews was also rated a 93 overall, thanks to what EA said was his ability “to do it all.” Rated a 95 in Faceoffs and a 93 in Puck Control, Toews is also rated a 93 in Speed, Acceleration and Agility.
Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, like Datsyuk and Toews, is rated a 93 overall, but could have been rated even higher had he played in more than 37 games last season, following a leg injury that kept him out of the Olympics as well. Regardless, Stamkos scored 25 goals and added 15 assists.
Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby is the highest rated Center in “NHL15,” with an 96 overall rating, thanks to a 2013-14 season that saw him lead the league with 104 points. With the New York Islanders’ John Tavares, The Kings’ Anze Kopitar and the Flyers Claude Giroux not cracking the top five despite amazing numbers, EA had some explaining to do for all of their picks for the Center position, but did the most talking when it came to their number one pick.
“This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that last year’s Hart Trophy winner comes in as the top rated player in ‘NHL 15,’ EA Sports said on their official website. Crosby dominates in almost every aspect on the game, possessing five-star ratings in Puck Skills, Senses, Shooting, Defense, and Skating. Within those categories he retains multiple 90+ ratings including a (93) rating for Wrist Shot Accuracy and Power; as well as (95) Deking, Hand-Eye, Passing, and Puck Control.”
Jamie Benn, Tyler Hall and Zach Parise were all rated a 90 overall. Two of the youngest stars in the NHL, Hall and Benn continue to develop every season, while Minnesota’s Parise, fresh off a 29-goal season in 2013-14 has a few more seasons under his belt and is about to enter his prime.
In just 45 games last season, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg scored 16 goals and added 48 points, enough to earn a 92 overall rating. Still one of the best two-way threats in the game, the Red Wings captain should produce even more in 2015 if completely healthy.
Earning the number one spot at the Left Wing position in “NHL 15” is Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, who was rated a 93 overall. Known for his pinball-like, shoot-first, pass later approach to the game, the rating gurus at Electronic Arts didn’t seem to mind his -35 rating and penchant to keep the puck from his teammates.
A league-leading 51 goals, supported by 204 hits, the most in the NHL among anyone with more than 65 points, was enough justification for his rating.
“Sure Ovechkin may be slightly one dimensional, but does he ever do that dimension well,” EA Sports said on their official website. “Ovechkin comes in as our top rated left winger as he possess five stars in Puck Skills, Senses, Shooting, Skating and Physicality. His (95) Wrist Shot Power and (4) Wrist Shot Accuracy is also a league best.”
Acquired at the trade deadline from the Tampa Lightning, Martin St. Louis became a leader on a New York Rangers team that made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. Although not the speedster he used to be, St. Louis’ instincts and passing ability earned him an 88 rating overall.
Chicago’s Patrick Kane earned a 89 overall rating to take the #4 spot, according to Electronic Arts, thanks in part to “five star Puck Skills, Shooting, Skating, and Senses.” The only thing that brought down his overall rating was his lack of physicality, evidenced by just 16 hits during the 2013-14 season.
The Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessell rounded out the top three with a overall rating of 90, thanks to an awesome 37-goal, 80-point season last year.
Making a surprise appearance on the list at #2 was Chicago’s Marian Hossa, who was rated a 91 overall. Just five points away from 1,000 for his career, Hossa had a solid 30-goal season in 2014, despite missing 10 games.
“Hossa might not have the same star power as the other players on this list, but make no mistake, he is arguably the best all-round right winger in the game,” EA Sports said on their official site. “With five-star ratings in Puck Skills, Senses, Skating, and Defense – Hossa does it all.”
Anaheim’s Corey Perry was rated the best Right Winger in “NHL 15” with an overall rating of 92. With more goals last season (43) than anyone on the list, his place is well earned, but add 81 hits and 280 shots on goal and he’s a shade better than his competitors.
The Bruins’ Zdeno Chara rounds out the top five D-men in the game with an overall rating of 91. He is still an intimidating force despite his advancing age and can still score, evidenced by his 17 goals and 40 points last season.
Like Chara, the Kings’ Drew Doughty is rated a 91 overall, but is still developing into one of the best two-way d-men in the NHL. With 38 points and 180 hits, as well as 91 blocked shots, Doughty does everything well.
Minnesota’s Ryan Suter is third overall among d-men with a 92 overall rating. Signed to one of the biggest contacts in Wild history, Suter earned his keep with 43 points, a +15 rating and 132 blocked shots last season.
Chicago’s Duncan Keith is tied with Suter with a 92 overall rating, but according to EA earns the number two spot thanks to “five star” puck skills. 55 assists in 2013-14 didn’t hurt his cause either.
Nashville’s Shea Weber is the top overall d-man in “NHL 15” with a 93 overall rating, thanks to a 23-goal season in 2013-14, tops among NHL defensemen, as well as 169 hits and 173 blocked shots.
“Weber comes in as our top rated NHL defenseman as he is an absolute force in all three zones,” EA Sports said on their official website. “Shea has 5 star Shooting, Defense, and Physical skills – and over (90) rated stats in all 6 attribute categories.”
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne made the top five with a 91 rating, despite playing in just 24 games and posting a mediocre 10-10 record, a 2.77 GAA and a .902 save PCT in 2013-14.
Boston’s Tuuka Rask was ranked fourth overall with a 92 rating. His 2.04 GAA was lowest in the NHL among goaltenders with more than 55 starts.
Montreal’s Carey Price was also rated a 92 overall, thanks to a marvelous 34-win, six-shutout season.
Stanley Cup Champion Jonathan Quick and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist shared the number one spot with a 93 rating. Although Quick played in less games than Lundqvist in 2013-14, he had a lower GAA and one more shutout during the regular season.
If there was any doubt of Lundqvist’s ability, EA Sports put them to rest quickly with their reasoning behind his ranking. Although Quick and Lundqvist both share the same rating, it appears EA gave the title of best goalie of ’15 to Rangers netminder.
“‘The King’ wears the crown as the top goalie in ‘NHL 15’ with five stars in all 3 goalie attribute categories,” EA Sports said. “It’s nearly impossible to beat him long the ice as Lundqivst carries a (92) rating for Stick Low, and Five Hole.”
“NHL 15” is currently scheduled to skate its way on to the Xbox 360, PlayStation3, Xbox One and PlayStation4 video game consoles on September 9.
So what do you think of Electronic Arts’ ratings? Is there a player on the list you would have added instead? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know.