Since EA Sports released the NHL 17 video game in mid-September, fans of the series have heavily anticipated the first official roster update. Well, that day has finally come after the NHL concluded its first week of play and the October 19th roster update is officially live. The update will be the first of several by EA Sports to keep rosters current as the year progresses. Typically speaking, updates will be out every few weeks, to almost monthly to keep gamers with the most up to date and authentic rosters in the hockey world.
This edition in the series has the potential to be the most interactive hockey game ever released. It’s also the first in the series to include ECHL franchises. Here are the quick hits of what you need to know about the first update of the season.
Updated Patch 1.03
The significant changes will have to do with the updated game patch that was released, which can be downloaded for the PS4 and Xbox One. The patch is going to be mandatory for online gameplay.
Damian Seeto (Attack of the Fan Boy) provided notes on the patch on his website. The quick hits are that the general gameplay and online mode received some tweaks made to make the game run a little smoother and minimize crashes and abrupt endings of gameplay that have frustrated some players.
From Attack of the Fan Boy: NHL 17 Updated Patch 1.03 Notes
Related: Oilers NHL 17 Player Ratings
Some of the more in-depth changes are to the EASHL where tweaks have been made to the drop-in, creation zone, and even more complex issues like not being able to play regular season games after winning an EASHL Playoff Championship. You can read the full changes on Seeto’s post at Attack of the Fan Boy.
Rookies See Ratings Increase
Several rookies have had their overall ratings increased in conjunction with the roster update. If you’re a fan paying attention to the 2016-17 Calder Trophy race for NHL Rookie of the Year here is what you’ll be looking for. Most rookies are listed with their respective NHL franchise if they’ve played a game in the league.
So if you’re looking for Drake Caggiula (Edmonton), you’ll have to wait. Some other college players that are making their debut in the league include Tyler Motte (Chicago), Nick Schmaltz (Chicago) and Jimmy Vesey (NY Rangers). Motte (73), Schmaltz (77) and Vesey (79) lead the way for NCAA players making their debut with their respective NHL franchises.
Related: NHL 17 Top Rookies (Sports Gamers)
If we break down the top ten picks from the 2016 NHL Draft here are the changes of note. Auston Matthews (Toronto), Patrik Laine (Winnipeg), Jesse Puljujarvi (Edmonton), Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary) and Mikhail Sergachev (Montreal) all saw their ratings increase. The biggest of the group was Sergachev (66>76), followed by Matthews (77>85). Laine (77>82), Puljujarvi (76>79) and Tkachuk (73>74) all saw subtle increases.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus), Olli Juolevi (Vancouver) saw no changes as both were returned to their junior teams. Clayton Keller (Arizona) is still not in the game because there is no licensing agreement between EA Sports and the NCAA, you’ll have to create him if you want him for franchise mode.
In an anomaly, Alexander Nylander (Buffalo) is not in the game with either the Buffalo Sabres or with his AHL affiliate Rochester Americans where he was assigned. You can look in the OHL and still won’t find him on the Mississauga Steelheads. He is buried if you dig deep enough on the CHL Top Prospects White team. Sabre fans will have to wait for the next roster update to get him properly assigned.
|Arizona||D Jakob Chychrun||73||75|
|Arizona||LW Christian Dvorak||72||72|
|Boston||D Brandon Carlo||64||64|
|Buffalo||LW Alexander Nylander*||73||73|
|Calgary||LW Matthew Tkachuk||73||74|
|Chicago||LW Tyler Motte||NA||73|
|Edmonton||LW Drake Caggiula*||NA||NA|
|Edmonton||RW Jesse Puljujarvi||76||79|
|Montreal||D Mikhail Sergachev||66||76|
|New Jersey||LW Pavel Zacha||NA||78|
|NY Rangers||LW Jimmy Vesey||NA||79|
|Toronto||C Auston Matthews||77||85|
|Vancouver||D Olli Juolevi*||66||66|
|Winnipeg||LW Patrik Laine||77||82|
2017 Draft Prospects
EA Sports has yet to update the prospect teams and don’t hold your breath for it to happen anytime soon. The CHL Top Prospects game isn’t until January 30th, 2017 so teams Red and White likely won’t be updated until after the rosters are named.
Two of the top ten prospects in the upcoming NHL Draft won’t be in the game. Klim Kostin (KHL) and Eeli Tolvanen (USHL) will be left out due to licensing reasons. Gamers will have to create the players for franchise mode.
Related: ISS Top 30 Prospects (October 2016)
Sticking with franchise mode, Patrick (the consensus top prospect this year), has the highest potential rating among his draft class and is listed as an elite-level power forward. Liljegren is listed as an elite-level two-way defender. The rest of the field is a mix of top-nine, AHL-level skill sets according to the EA Sports rankings so some modification for those of you needing updates for franchise mode will have to be made yourselves.
That said, if you’re curious how the top 2017 NHL Draft prospects stack up here’s how it looks:
|1||C Nolan Patrick||WHL Brandon Wheat Kings||66|
|2||D Timothy Liljegren||SHL Rogle BK||68|
|3||C Gabriel Vilardi||OHL Windsor Spitfires||59|
|4||C Klim Kostin||KHL Dynamo Moskva||NA|
|5||LW Maxime Comtois||QMJHL Victoriaville Tigres||66|
|6||LW Kristian Vesalainen||SHL Frolunda HC||62|
|7||LW Eeli Tolvanen||USHL Sioux City Musketeers||NA|
|8||C Sasha Chmelevski||OHL Ottawa 67’s||53|
|9||C Michael Rasmussen||WHL Tri-City Americans||63|
|10||D Callan Foote||WHL Kelowna Rockets||62|