As anticipation builds for the release of NHL 24, fans eagerly await the announcement of the cover athlete who will grace the game’s packaging.
The cover athlete is a prestigious honor, often bestowed upon a player who has made a significant impact on the sport and represents the spirit of the game. In this article, we predict the top 5 candidates who could potentially become the face of NHL 24, analyzing their skills, accomplishments, and marketability.
From seasoned veterans to rising stars, here are our top 5 candidates for the NHL 24 cover.
David Pastrnak, a Boston Bruins star, recently had his best season, scoring 61 goals and 113 points, placing him in the top three for both categories. As one of the league’s most marketable players, Pastrnak hit the 60-goal mark for the first time in his career this season.
With his growing status as the face of an Original Six team, Pastrnak would be an excellent choice for the NHL 24 cover, representing the league as a whole. His impressive scoring ability and dynamic playing style make him a fan favorite, and his inclusion on the cover would surely excite the gaming community.
Jack Hughes, the former No. 1 overall pick, is the leader of a young generation of the New Jersey Devils. He helped the team improve from 63 points in the 2021-22 season to 112 points in the previous campaign. Hughes has the potential to take his team a step forward in the Stanley Cup quest, and his inclusion on the cover would reflect the trend of featuring young players, as seen with Trevor Zegras on the NHL 23 cover.
Hughes recently broke the New Jersey Devils’ single-season points record with 99 points and scored 40 goals, showcasing his superstar status. His skill, speed, and creativity on the ice make him an exciting candidate for the NHL 24 cover. Hughes also showcased his fun personality in various interviews in 2022-23, making him an easy player for EA Sports to market.
Matthew Tkachuk gained tremendous respect for his outstanding playoff performance during the Florida Panthers’ improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final. With his swagger and grit, Tkachuk is a marketing team’s dream, attracting people interested in hockey who have never played it, much like the EA franchise itself. His recent stardom and enthusiasm make him a perfect fit for the NHL 24 cover.
Tkachuk scored three game-winning goals in the Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes, including the series-clincher with 4.9 seconds remaining in Game 4. His leadership and clutch performances in high-pressure situations make him an ideal candidate for the cover of NHL 24.
Tage Thompson, a Buffalo Sabres forward, enjoyed a career season in 2021-22, leading the team with 38 goals and 68 points in 78 games. Thompson’s unique skills and potential to change the narrative for future generations make him an exciting candidate for the NHL 24 cover. His recent seven-year contract extension worth $50 million with the Sabres further solidifies his status as a rising star in the league.
Thompson’s size, skill, and scoring ability make him a standout player, and his inclusion on the cover would represent the growth and development of young talent in the NHL. EA Sports is all about highlight-reel plays, and Thompson is constantly making the real-life highlight-reel night-in and night-out. Plus, Tage is also expected to be named Buffalo’s new captain in the near future.
Connor Bedard, the most hyped prospect in the NHL since Connor McDavid in 2015, is set to make his debut with the Chicago Blackhawks. Bedard has already impressed some of the biggest stars in the NHL and is expected to have a significant impact this season.
While his inclusion might be considered a stretch, featuring Bedard on the cover presents an enticing prospect for several reasons, showcasing the future of the NHL and the excitement surrounding this young talent. Bedard’s incredible skill and potential for greatness make him a fascinating choice for the NHL 24 cover, representing the next generation of hockey superstars.
In addition to our top 5 candidates for the NHL 24 cover, there are several other players who could potentially make the cut. Here are three honorable mentions who could also end up on the cover:
Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers’ captain, is no stranger to the EA NHL cover, having previously appeared on NHL 18.
As one of the best players in the league, McDavid consistently showcases his incredible speed, skill, and hockey IQ. His continued dominance in the NHL makes him a strong contender for the cover of NHL 24.
Sidney Crosby, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is another potential cover star athlete. While Sid has reportedly denied the cover in the past, there’s no doubt he’s the best NHL player to have never been on the EA Sports cover.
As one of the most recognizable faces in the NHL, Crosby has consistently demonstrated his leadership, skill, and ability to perform under pressure. His storied career and status as a future Hall of Famer make him a compelling choice for the NHL 24 cover. At this point in his career, maybe Sid finally agrees to being the cover athlete.
Hilary Knight, a prominent figure in American women’s hockey, could be a groundbreaking choice for the NHL 24 cover. As a key player for Team USA and an inspiration for many young hockey players, Knight’s inclusion on the cover would continue the NHL’s campaign for diversity and inclusivity in the sport.
Following Sarah Nurse’s historic appearance on the NHL 23 cover, featuring Knight would further emphasize the importance of representation in the game.