NHL 21 Be a Pro expanded, Ovechkin is cover star

NHL 21 was revealed overnight, with EA Vancouver unveiling an expanded Be a Pro mode alongside the confirmation of Alexander Ovechkin as the game’s cover star.

A trailer featuring Ovechkin and his achievements teases the expanded Be a Pro mode, with Ovi walking into a Capitals locker room (that, to me, looks inspired by the Edmonton Oilers’ home team room).

“A brand new Be A Pro experience gives you the chance to live the life of an NHL player, on and off the ice,” EA said of the upcoming title. “Impress the front office, go early on draft day, and chase greatness as you earn your spot on the first line, compete for the Stanley Cup, and become the league’s next best. Recognize Future with Be A Pro in NHL 21.”

NHL Series Producer Sean Ramjagsingh said Ovi’s cover was practically a no-brainer.\

“Ovechkin’s gameplay legacy, on and off the ice, is helping us to bring the next generation of EA Sports NHL gameplay to life with NHL 21,” Ramjagsingh said.

The trailer also shows off some stunning in-game interpretations of some spectacular new wave play, with Svehnikov’s famed lacrosse-style goal and Kucherov’s no-move deke given the spotlight.

“Gameplay in NHL 21 has also gotten smarter, faster and a whole lot flashier with innovative moves and massive improvements on both sides of the puck,” EA continued. “Players now have more options than ever before to take control of the game and impose their playstyle on opponents. Players can dazzle with slips, banks and chips, while pulling off some of the most recognizable superstar-inspired moves. However, players will also have to deal with improved goalie positioning and control, as netminders are adapting to the game’s skill level faster than ever before with brand-new desperation moves and animations.”

NHL 21 heads to Xbox One and PS4 on 16 October; a next-gen release on Xbox Series X and PS5 is not planned.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.