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Today, EA Sports is releasing more information about the changes and updates to the latest installment of its NHL game. Yesterday we saw the dual cover athletes, Sarah Nurse and Trevor Zegras. Now it’s time to tear into the details.

EA Sports recently invited us to check out the new features and changes coming to NHL 23. Let’s dig in!

Hockey Ultimate Team

In this years Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT), players can now have women and men playing alongside each other. You can now recruit members of the IIHF Women’s National Team. This enables players to create their ultimate team from all the best players in the world.

On top of all that, HUT Rivals now has several new game themes that players can rotate through. Also of note, EA has added three new tiers of rewards to Hut Rivals based on wins and win streaks.

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NHL 23
Sarah Nurse

“It is such a tremendous honor to be the first woman on the cover of the EA SPORTS NHL franchise,” said Sarah Nurse of Team Canada in a press release. “Hockey is really for everybody, and I’m excited that NHL 23 is celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of the sport. I hope that the increased representation of women in such a prominent game will inspire young girls everywhere to know that there is a place for them in hockey.”

Cross-platform matchmaking

One of the most requested features from the community, cross-platform matchmaking, is finally here. Planned as an update for November, the matchmaking setting will speed up matching times and bring folks into the pool. Matchmaking only works with consoles of the same generation. So XBox One will not be able to match with PS5, and so on.

NHL 23
Pumping up the crowd.

“With teamplay as its heartbeat, the NHL franchise has always been best when played with friends, and this year’s edition will bring players together in whole new ways,” said Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at EA Vancouver. “From the ever-growing presence of women players in the game to the coming introduction of cross-platform matchmaking, NHL 23 reflects hockey’s expanding fanbase and emphasizes that it is a sport best experienced together.”

Puck movement

EA Sports has added a lot of new animations based around puck movement. Grouped together as a suite of “desperation” plays, the Last Chance Puck Movement system adds diversity to your play. The new moves shake out into three categories: stumble actions, loose puck plays, and enhanced goalie AI.

Stumble actions give players the opportunity to hit the puck after any sort of contact. Loose puck plays give the player the ability to shoot or dive for a loose puck. The AI goalies in the game now have access to human desperation plays, making for more save opportunities.

NHL 23
Now you can dive for a loose puck.

“As someone who has played EA SPORTS NHL since I was kid, it is a dream come true to be on the cover this year with Sarah,” said Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks. “I can’t wait to play this year’s version with my friends and teammates, and I am equally excited to see fans unleash my Michigan flip pass, which the team at EA SPORTS has managed to get into the game.”

The icing on the … ice

This year’s NHL game has made several engine and franchise improvements over last year. Franchise mode has a lot more customization than in previous years, allowing more control over your team.

NHL 23
The great outdoors!

NHL 22 was the first NHL game in the Frostbite engine. As with any engine change, it takes time to become familiar with its advantages and drawbacks. With another year under their belt, the NHL team has rolled out a number of changes to the basic game. Many aspects of the NHL have received attention including additional celebrations and updated stadiums.

Data transfers

Players who start NHL 23 on the PS4 or XBox One will be available to transfer some of their progress and players to next gen. The specific rules for those transfers are as follows:

  • Players can protect 20 player items + Coach in their current lineup and transfer those over to a new console.
  • Once content is transferred from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 or Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S, that content on Gen4 will be converted to untradeable for security reasons.
  • Any coins and items remaining in your collection will be given a similar value in Tradeable Packs to start on your new generation account.

It’s almost chel time

It has been a long and, for many, unseasonably hot year. As we head into the end of August, you can feel an excitement start to build in the air. October is just around the corner, and with it comes the new season and the release of NHL 23. We’ll see you on the ice.

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