EA Sports is set to release NHL 17, and with anticipation comes the curiosity of player ratings. For years, player ratings have been debated by fans, mainly with groans about a particular player being rated too high or too low for their liking. Focusing on the Edmonton Oilers, there are some interesting ratings and fans might groan about where Connor McDavid ranks against some of the best in the video game. In his sophomore season, McDavid comes in with an 88 overall rating to lead all Oilers players.
However, the Oilers franchise player pales in comparison to some of his video game counterparts as he didn’t crack the top 10 center listings in the game. The top center in the game is Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) at 95 overall, followed by Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) at 94 overall. Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals) and Claude Giroux (Philadelphia) are at the bottom of the top 10 with a 91 overall rating.
Related: NHL 17 Screenshots – ECHL Teams
Ratings are always subjective, and when The Hockey News projects McDavid to win the Art Ross Trophy and lead the league in scoring with 96 points, it makes you debate the correlation between video games, fantasy projections and factual arguments regarding player ratings.
NHL 17 is one of the most highly anticipated releases in the EA Sports series with several new game modes and overhauled gameplay. That said, here are the player ratings for the Edmonton Oilers.
|G||Cam Talbot||85||29||Hybrid||Starter – Medium|
|G||Jonas Gustavsson||77||31||Hybrid||Backup – Medium|
Cam Talbot has a modest overall rating for starting goalies, as seen below. Considering Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning) is rated just four points better than Talbot at 89 overall, the Oilers goaltender isn’t that far off. It’s a one point increase in his rating from last year and far from terrible. Free agent signing Jonas Gustavsson has a pretty low rating for backup goalies in the game. Looking at the goaltending pool, it seems EA Sports implemented a tiered system with their goaltender ratings.
Related: NHL 17 Ratings – Top 10 Goaltenders
Related: NHL 17 Ratings – Top 50 Players
Elite starters all got ratings of 90 or higher, the rest of the starters got scores between 84-89 and the 1A/1B options are between 81-83 (ala Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings). Definite backups without starter potential are rated 75-80 in the game.
|D||Adam Larsson||85||23||2 Way D||Elite – Low|
|D||Andrej Sekera||85||30||Offensive D||Top 4 D – Low|
|D||Oscar Klefbom||83||23||2 Way D||Elite – Low|
|D||Darnell Nurse||82||21||2 Way D||Elite – Low|
|D||Brandon Davidson||80||25||2 Way D||Top 4 D – Low|
|D||Mark Fayne||80||29||Defensive D||Top 6 D – Low|
|D||Andrew Ference||79||37||Defensive D||AHL Top 2 D|
|D||Griffin Reinhart||77||22||2 Way D||Top 4 D – Medium|
Newcomer Adam Larsson ties Andrej Sekera for the best rating for Oilers defensemen at 85 overall. It’s interesting to note that under potential the Oilers possess three “Elite – Low” level defensemen in Larsson, Oscar Klefbom, and Darnell Nurse. Brandon Davidson saw a sizeable increase from last year improving by five points to 80 overall. Sekera’s listed as the Oilers only offensive defenseman under player types while the team has five two-way defenders.
Related: NHL 17 Ratings- Top 10 Defensemen
|LW||Milan Lucic||88||28||Power Forward||Top 6 F – High|
|LW||Benoit Pouliot||84||30||Sniper||Top 6 F – Low|
|LW||Patrick Maroon||83||28||Power Forward||Top 9 F – High|
|LW||Matt Hendricks||81||35||Grinder||Bottom 6 F – High|
Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, and Matt Hendricks have similar ratings to their ones in NHL 16. Pouliot and Maroon both increased by a point. Milan Lucic is the big edition to the Oilers left side and gets an 88 overall rating. Of note, the Oilers don’t possess a single player with elite-level potential. Lucic has the best long-term potential as a top six forward with high potential.
Related: NHL 17 Ratings – Top 10 Left Wingers
|C||Connor McDavid||88||19||Playmaker||Franchise – Medium|
|C||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||86||23||Playmaker||Elite – Low|
|C||Leon Draisaitl||84||20||2 Way Forward||Elite – Low|
|C||Mark Letestu||82||31||Playmaker||Top 9 F – Medium|
|C||Anton Lander||77||25||2 Way Forward||Bottom 6 F – Medium|
This is where the ratings and depth are strongest for the Oilers. Led by McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (86) and Leon Draisaitl (84) the Oilers have three elite to franchise players. McDavid gets the franchise tag, and both RNH and Draisaitl got lower end elite level scores. All three are currently participating in the World Cup of Hockey (WCH 2016) and are going to anchor the Oilers down the middle this season.
Related: NHL 17 Ratings – Top 10 Centers
It’s a little odd that the Oilers fourth-line center Mark Letestu got a playmaker player type over something more conventional like a two-way forward for the role he plays in the Oilers lineup. Lander has the lowest upside for franchise mode among the team’s centers.
|RW||Jordan Eberle||85||26||Sniper||Elite – Low|
|RW||Nail Yakupov||82||22||Sniper||Top 6 F – Medium|
|RW||Zack Kassian||81||25||Power Forward||Top 9 F – Low|
|RW||Jesse Puljujarvi||76||18||NA||Elite – Medium|
|RW||Iiro Pakarinen||76||25||Power Forward||AHL Top 6 F – Low|
Jordan Eberle’s rating drops from last year, but he still maintains his elite potential as a sniper. Nail Yakupov supporters will be happy to see he’s the second-best right winger on the team in the game with an 82 overall rating. Zack Kassian’s score slides as did Iiro Pakarinen’s. Jesse Puljujarvi is not on the Oilers roster… yet. You can access Puljujarvi in franchise mode or if you play with Karpat in Liiga. The Oilers fourth overall pick this summer does have elite potential starting with a modest 76 overall rating. All in all, the Oilers seem to have quite a few playmakers and snipers listed, so, in terms of scoring, the team will have plenty of firepower in the game.
Playing defense and keeping the puck out of your net might be tough but playing with the Oilers in NHL 17 is going to be fun.
Edmonton Oilers regular contributor providing insight on all things Oilers including club history, prospect profiles, trade breakdowns, and everything else in between. Check back regularly for new and exciting content. Follow on Twitter @SanderTHW.