NHL 17 Preview: Draft Champions Details

Update: It was previously stated that players will be able to manage their cap in Draft Champions in NHL 17. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. A rep from EA Sports has reached out to clarify that salary caps will not be a part of Draft Champions this year.


Original: Draft Champions is one of the most highly-anticipated additions to the NHL franchise from EA Sports.

After a successful debut in Madden NFL 16 last year, the mode has made its way to another EA Sports title with NHL 17. And though a lot of aspects are being brought over from the Madden NFL version of the mode, there are plenty of differences that EA Sports had yet to announce.

In a conversation with NHL 17 lead producer Sean Ramjagsingh, additional details regarding the debuting Draft Champions mode have been revealed.

The mode will see a focus on building your team in a number of ways. Players can choose to have a more offensive-minded team, a defensive-minded unit or a unit built around a strong top six. There are plenty of options to choose from as each round progresses.

“It’s really about managing your cap and managing the strength of your team,” Ramjagsingh said.

The idea of working a roster under a salary cap adds a twist to the mode that wasn’t included in the Madden version of the mode. But with the lack of coaches and playbooks, it only makes sense to add a unique twist to shake up the draft.

[RELATED: NHL 17 Gameplay Trailer]

Speaking of the draft, the developers haven’t decided on an official round limit yet, but they are towing with multiple numbers.

“We currently have 12 rounds in the build, so you’re basically upgrading 12 of the players on your team,” he said. “We’re going to lock in the range of 10-14.”

And of those 10-14 rounds, legends will be available to choose similar to that of Hockey Ultimate Team. The final list of legends available is still being finalized, but fans should expect to see some of their favorite historic players available to select throughout the draft.

After deciding on a team focus and drafting a squad, players will then have the option to either take on the CPU or go online to battle players from around the world.

So, will you make sure you have the best goaltender possible when the opportunity presents itself, or will you go with the playmaking winger instead? Every draft will play out differently for users in NHL 17’s Draft Champions.

NHL 17 launches on September 13 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Hockey Writers will bring you full coverage of the game through its launch. Be sure to follow THW Gaming on Twitter.