NHL 21: Alex Ovechkin as cover athlete is a welcomed surprise

EA Sports
EA Sports /

EA Sports have finally revealed the cover athlete and trailer for NHL 21

We finally have a release date for NHL 21. The latest in EA’s hockey video game franchise will hit the ice on October 16, 2020. With the release just a little under 2 months away, we have gotten a trailer, release date, and a cover athlete all in one day.

After much suspense and anticipation on who the cover athlete would be, we can now finally say that Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin will be gracing the cover of NHL 21. This news to me comes as a bit shocking to me. I know Alex Ovechkin was also on the cover of NHL 07 which is why I would have never predicted him to be on it again for NHL 21. However, we all know how good Ovechkin is and why EA Sports would choose a player like him to represent their video game this year.

NHL 21
EA Sports /

Being on the cover of any sports video game is something that athletes dream about when they are young. Companies just do not choose anyone to represent them for that year, but rather someone who represents hockey as a whole in all aspects of the game. Earlier in the year, I thought that the cover athlete would belong to someone of the likes of David Pastrnak, Nathan MacKinnon, or even Leon Draisaitl just because of the year they had this past season. EA decided to go in a different direction and chose a veteran player whose legacy was cemented by recently winning a Stanley Cup.

I am just a bit surprised that EA didn’t save Ovechkin for a “Legacy” or special edition of the game and give the cover to someone who produced a lot more in the 2019-2020 regular season. Putting Pastrnak, MacKinnon, or Draisaitl on the cover of NHL 21 would have represented this year with someone who dominated the league in the regular season.

Since they didn’t go with some of the league-leading scorers this year, I am happy that someone as the likes of Alex Ovechkin will be representing this year’s game. Ovechkin is a future First Ballot Hall of Famer and is a player who has completely, positively changed the modern-day game of hockey over the past decade and a half.

In addition to the cover athlete announcement, EA also shared the reveal trailer for NHL 21.

The trailer it was more about hyping Alex Ovechkin being the cover athlete and less about gameplay but I’m sure that will come soon. From memorable moments of Ovechkin’s career to some sweet highlights of other athletes around the league, the trailer is definitely one of the coolest NHL trailers to date.

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With NHL 21 set to be released on October 16 in just a little under two months away, I can not wait to see what else news is released about the game in the coming few weeks. This has definitely been the biggest news released about NHL 21 to date.