NHL 23: Release date and new features from reveal trailer

EA Sports
EA Sports /

Many fans were speculating which athlete was going to be gracing the cover of NHL 23 this year and what the date would be for the official release. With August almost coming to an end, it seemed really weird that there was no news on either of these two major questions. However, EA Sports NHL broke the news on who will be this year’s cover athlete, or shall I say “athletes,” yesterday.

NHL 23 will feature not one, but two cover athletes this year. Trevor Zegras from the Anaheim Ducks and Sarah Nurse from the Canada Women’s National Team. This cover is groundbreaking as it is the first time a woman hockey player has gotten to be on the cover of an NHL video game. The cover also does a great job of showcasing that hockey is truly for everyone. No matter what gender you are, what race you are, or where you live, hockey will always be for everyone. The palm trees show great meaning as well as it means that not everyone who enjoys hockey has to live somewhere where it gets really cold. Great job on the cover EA!

In even more exciting news, EA released the worldwide reveal of NHL 23 today and not only did it give us a glimpse as to what kind of beautiful goals you can score, but it also gave us a look at some new and exciting features we can expect this year.

Release date and the new features this year

Before we get into dissecting the trailer a little bit, I would first like to let you know that NHL 23 will be released on October 14th. We are less than two months away before you are able to get your hands on the next installment of the NHL video game franchise. You are able to purchase and pre-order copies NOW for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Last Chance Puck Movement

The first thing that you notice in the NHL 23 trailer is the addition Last Chance Puck Movement. You are shown a spectacular goal from Trevor Zegras as he shoots the puck while he is tumbling over.

If EA is trying to make the game feel more realistic, then they are doing a great job at it. We have seen many spectacular goals in the NHL over the last few years and being able to recreate some of those goals while creating brand new moments is going to be really fun. EA plans to add over 500 stumble animations so the possibilities will virtually be endless.

Women in HUT, Mixed HUT Teams, and Women in World of Chel

This may be one of the coolest features that EA Sports is adding to NHL 23 this year. For the first time ever thanks to the IIHF license, Women athletes will be making their way into Hockey Ultimate Team. They won’t just be making their way into the game mode, but you will be allowed to have mixed HUT teams.

The trailer did a great job showing an example of this with Trevor Zegras, Hilary Knight, and Sarah Hurse all on one Hockey Ultimate Team. Women athletes will also be available in World of Chel.

Cross Platform Matchmaking

Cross Platform Matchmaking is perhaps one of the most asked-about features in an NHL video game and has been for quite some time. Well, there is no need to ask any further. Cross Platform Matchmaking is making its way into NHL 23. Last year, you were stuck playing with other gamers who shared the same gaming platform as you. This year PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners will be able to play against each other and PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S owners will be able to share the ice together.

Currently, Cross-Play Matchmaking will only be available for World of Chel and Hockey Ultimate Team, but EA has hopes that down the line this can evolve for even more possibilities. This will no doubt make finding online matches in World of Chel and Hockey Ultimate Team a little bit easier and also allow you to face lots more competition.

Other details

NHL 23 will be using the Frostbite Engine for the second consecutive year. This will hopefully allow the graphics and crowds to be as realistic as possible. X-Factors will also be making their way into NHL 23 for the second consecutive year as well. We can expect to see a handful of new X-Factors, but those haven’t been announced as of yet.

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As we close in on October 14, more and more information about NHL 23 should slowly trickle out. Between now and then there is a ton of time and that means there is a ton of opportunity to get even more information on NHL 23.