Through the late parts of the summer, EA Sports has been ramping up the marketing for the release of NHL 18. The game has a worldwide release date of September 15 and will be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. With the game about to be released, EA Sports has been releasing the top player ratings from goaltenders, defensemen and all three forward positions.
In their latest rating release, EA Sports published their Top 50 list. At the head of the list is Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby tied with a 93 overall rating. Both players are generational talents, and there’s little arguing those two players being the best two players on the ice and in a video game.
As far as who’s the most dynamic duo, McDavid’s linemate Leon Draisaitl got an 87 rating and finished 42nd on EA’s official list. Crosby’s teammate Evgeni Malkin was the third highest ranked player in the game with a 92 overall. These players are at the head of a new rating system developed by EA for authenticity purposes.
New Player Rating System for NHL 18
One of the common complaints with the video game is how the player ratings are justified. There’s a massive cluster of talent that doesn’t separate itself regarding value, so the top end players on your team sometimes aren’t much better in the game than some of your lesser ranked players.
EA has stated that they have created a new system that creates a notable gap between first line players to those on your fourth line. This is being done in part to keep the popular Franchise Mode more realistic. So your Crosby’s and McDavid’s now are more valuable and will be that much better for the in-game performance and realism.
The other end is that top draft prospects will be ranked as such and have a better ability to jump straight into your NHL lineup. In the past, the draft portion of franchise mode has been an absolute crapshoot at best. Identifying a few key talent pieces as top prospects and having their ratings reflect that will create some realism and authenticate their impact on your lineup.
New Player Rating Breakdown for NHL 18
No word yet what ratings Nico Hischier (1st overall, 2017) and Nolan Patrick (2nd overall, 2017) have, but expect them to be in the low to mid-80’s. To summarize quickly, it’s a tiered system of ratings that differentiates your first, second and third liners from the rest of the pack.
The same can be said for the system that differs your top pairing blueliners from the rest, and the goaltenders as well. Here’s the general guideline:
EA Sports Player Rating Breakdown
|Forward Ratings||Defenseman Ratings||Goaltender Ratings|
|1st Line Fwd||85-99 OVR||Top 2 Dman||87-99 OVR||Elite||87-99 OVR|
|2nd Line Fwd||82-85 OVR||Top 4 Dman||81-87 OVR||Starting||82-87 OVR|
|3rd Line Fwd||78-82 OVR||Top 6 Dman||78-81 OVR||Backup||75-82 OVR|
|4th Fwd||75-78 OVR||Top 8 Dman||75-78 OVR|
EA Sports NHL 18 Top 50 Player Ratings
Here is the complete top 50 player ratings from EA Sports’ most recent ratings release. On their website, you can find their breakdowns by position. It’s worth noting that three teams in particular stand out the most. The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins all have the most number of players on the top 50 list.
For the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron (89), Tuukka Rask (88), Brad Marchand (87) and David Pastrnak (87) highlight their roster. In Chicago, Patrick Kane (91), Duncan Keith (90), Jonathan Toews (89) and Corey Crawford (87) lead a stacked Blackhawks team. For the Penguins, Sidney Crosby (93), Evgeni Malkin (92), Matt Murray (88) and Kris Letang (88) make Pittsburgh a video game powerhouse.
So if you’re looking for a juggernaut for your NHL Threes team, look no further than those three teams.
NHL 18 Top 50 Players
|1||C||Connor McDavid (EDM)||93||Playmaker||Franchise|
|2||C||Sidney Crosby (PIT)||93||Playmaker||Franchise|
|3||C||Evgeni Malkin (PIT)||92||Playmaker||Elite|
|4||G||Carey Price (MTL)||92||Hybrid||Elite|
|5||LW||Alex Ovechkin (WSH)||92||Sniper||Franchise|
|6||D||Erik Karlsson (OTT)||91||Offensive Dman||Elite|
|7||RW||Patrick Kane (CHI)||91||Sniper||Franchise|
|8||D||Drew Doughty (LAK)||91||2 Way Dman||Franchise|
|9||C||Steven Stamkos (TBL)||91||Sniper||Franchise|
|10||C||John Tavares (NYI)||90||Sniper||Franchise|
|11||D||Brent Burns (SJS)||90||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|12||D||Victor Hedman (TBL)||90||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|13||RW||Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)||90||Sniper||Elite|
|14||LW||Jamie Benn (DAL)||90||Power Forward||Elite|
|15||G||Braden Holtby (WSH)||90||Hybrid||Elite|
|16||D||Duncan Keith (CHI)||90||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|17||C||Nicklas Backstrom (WSH)||89||Playmaker||Elite|
|18||C||Patrice Bergeron (BOS)||89||2 Way Dman||Top 6 F|
|19||RW||Nikita Kucherov (TBL)||89||Sniper||Elite|
|20||C||Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)||89||Power Forward||Elite|
|21||C||Tyler Seguin (DAL)||89||Playmaker||Elite|
|22||G||Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)||89||Hybrid||Elite|
|23||C||Jonathan Toews (CHI)||89||2 Way Forward||Elite|
|24||C||Anze Kopitar (LAK)||89||2 Way Forward||Franchise|
|25||D||Ryan Suter (MIN)||89||Defensive Dman||Elite|
|26||G||Cory Schneider (NJD)||89||Hybrid||Elite|
|27||D||Shea Weber (MTL)||89||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|28||RW||Joe Pavelski (SJS)||88||2 Way Forward||Elite|
|29||C||Mark Scheifele (WPG)||88||Playmaker||Elite|
|30||G||Matt Murray (PIT)||88||Hybrid||Elite|
|31||G||Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)||88||Hybrid||Elite|
|32||D||Kris Letang (PIT)||88||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|33||D||Roman Josi (NSH)||88||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|34||D||Alex Pietrangelo (STL)||88||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|35||G||Devan Dubnyk (MIN)||88||Hybrid||Elite|
|36||G||Tuukka Rask (BOS)||88||Hybrid||Elite|
|37||C||Claude Giroux (PHI)||88||Playmaker||Elite|
|38||RW||Blake Wheeler (WPG)||87||Power Forward||Elite|
|39||C||Auston Matthews (TOR)||87||Playmaker||Elite|
|40||D||PK Subban (NSH)||87||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|41||LW||Taylor Hall (NJD)||87||Sniper||Elite|
|42||C||Leon Draisaitl (EDM)||87||2 Way Forward||Elite|
|43||C||Jack Eichel (BUF)||87||Playmaker||Elite|
|44||G||Corey Crawford (CHI)||87||Hybrid||Elite|
|45||D||Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARZ)||87||Offensive Dman||Elite|
|46||LW||Brad Marchand (BOS)||87||2 Way Forward||Top 6 F|
|47||RW||David Pastrnak (BOS)||87||Playmaker||Elite|
|48||LW||Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)||87||Sniper||Elite|
|49||D||Dustin Byfuglien (WPG)||87||2 Way Dman||Elite|
|50||LW||Max Pacioretty (MTL)||87||Power Forward||Elite|
As mentioned, NHL 18 will be available on September 15. Do you agree with EA’s player ratings? Is there a player that is grossly undervalued and not on this list? Is there a player who’s overvalued on this list? Let us know in the comment section below!
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.