McDavid & Crosby Top EA Sports’ NHL 18 Player Ratings

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.

NHL Threes was a huge hit during the NHL 18 Beta release. The ratings listed are reflective of the players NHL 17 ratings. (EA Sports/NHL 18 Beta)

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.

NHL 18 Screenshot (EA Sports/NHL 18 Beta)

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.

NHL 18 Screenshot (EA Sports/NHL 18 Beta)

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!