On Tuesday, Aug. 27, EA Sports released their first wave of ratings for the top-50 players in NHL 20. According to the EA website, overall attributes take into account individual abilities for both skaters and goalies. Here are the previous articles:
- NHL 20 Players Ratings & Reactions
- NHL 20 Player Ratings: 41-50
- NHL 20 Player Ratings: 31-40
- NHL 20 Player Ratings: 21-30
- NHL 20 Player Ratings: 11-20
There have been some head-scratchers and pleasant surprises, but EA has done their duty. Now, let’s analyze the ratings and list for EA’s top 10 players in NHL 20.
No. 10: Carey Price, 91 OVR
Carey Price has been one of the top goalies in the NHL over the last decade, and he was great last year for the Montreal Canadiens. After a tough 2017-18 season, Price bounced back to post a .918 save percentage and 2.49 goals-against average, both of which are nearly right in line with his career numbers. He also had an impressive 14.94 goals saved above average.
Price was a 92 overall in NHL 19 which might have been a bit high given his awful 2017-18 season. But, a 91 for this year is right. He’s still one of the top goalies in the NHL and should be treated as such. He was given one-point decreases to his rebound control (92), recovery (91), aggressiveness (91) and vision (91). His decrease is right simply because his rating last year was very inflated and to give him a 92 this year would have made him the highest rated goalie in the game. That would be quite a stretch. He’s still great, but not the best at this moment.
No. 9: Andrei Vasilevskiy, 91 OVR
The 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner is NHL 20’s highest-rated goalie, and for good reason. While he missed time due to a broken foot, Andrei Vasilevskiy led the league in wins (39) and was in the top 10 for total saves (1,585), SV% (.925), GAA (2.40), shutouts (6) and GSAA (26). He also registered a quality start percentage of .642, the best of his career.
Vasilevskiy was an 88 overall in NHL 19 after finishing third in Vezina Trophy voting, but he was on another planet last season and his 91 is well deserved. Nearly all of his attributes are upgraded, including 93’s for rebound control, recovery and vision, and 92’s for angles, breakaways, five-hole and glove high. He likely won’t be getting any upgrades unless he somehow increases his level of play and amount of playing time.
No. 8: Drew Doughty, 91 OVR
Last season was Drew Doughty’s 11th with the Los Angeles Kings and fifth consecutive season playing all 82 games. He had eight goals and 37 assists while playing, on average, more than 26 minutes per game. However, he posted a career-worst minus-34 and had 105 giveaways, also the worst of his career.
Doughty is still a solid defenseman, but to give him a 91 overall this year is rewarding a player for what he has done in the past and not taking into account last year’s statistics. He was a 92 overall in NHL 19 after finishing second in Norris Trophy voting – a reasonable rating – but a 91 isn’t enough of a downgrade. The only attribute that was changed was his durability, up from an 88 to a 90. He should be a 90 overall and if he bounced back this season, EA could upgrade him. However, he will now likely be a 92 for the entire season, whether he’s back to the Norris Trophy level he’s played at before or even worse than last season.
No. 7: Victor Hedman, 91 OVR
After winning the Norris Trophy in 2017-18, Victor Hedman finished third for the award last season. He had 54 points in 70 games, was plus-24 and had 25 points on the power play. Even though he played just under 23 minutes on average per game, he was the best defenseman on the ice nearly all the time.
Just like in NHL 19, Hedman is a 91 overall, but this year he is the highest-rated defenseman in the game. His passing and puck control are up one point to a 91 and his slap shot accuracy went up from an 80 to an 84. But, his shot-blocking went from a 93 to an 88 and his durability went from an 87 to an 83. All of those changes make sense, and he has been one of the NHL’s best defenders over the last three seasons. EA hit the nail right on the head with this rating.
No. 6: Patrick Kane, 91 OVR
While the Chicago Blackhawks were not the same team they were in previous years, Patrick Kane was better than ever. He had a career-high 66 assists, 110 points, 35 even-strength goals and 22:29 average time on ice. On many nights, he was the best player on the ice, even if he finished eighth in Hart Trophy voting.
Kane was No. 8 on NHL 19’s top-50 list at 91 overall, but he deserves to be a 92. He went from 76 to 110 points and was better in almost every category compared to 2017-18. Strangely enough, his puck control attribute went down from a 97 to a 95, but his durability went up from an 85 to an 89. I’m not really sure how EA determined to change the puck control attribute, but he should be a 92 overall – that’s where any 100-point player deserves to be.
No. 5: Nathan MacKinnon, 92 OVR
Nathan MacKinnon has posted back-to-back 90-point seasons after a few down seasons. He had his first 40-goal season and played more than 22 minutes on average per game, a career-best. He was the face of the Colorado Avalanche last season and a big reason for their success in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
MacKinnon was No. 13 and a 90 overall in NHL 19, and his upgrade to the top five an a 92 is arguably more deserved than anyone. His offensive awareness is up to a 93, but other than his durability – up to an 89 – that’s the only attribute that was changed. If he can raise his game and lead the Avalanche to be one of the best teams in the NHL this season, he might even be upgraded to a 93.
No. 4: Alex Ovechkin, 92 OVR
Alex Ovechkin is one of the greatest players of all-time, and somehow he continues to surprise people. He had his first 50-goal season since 2015-16 and his highest point total (89) since 2009-10. He is the face of the Washington Capitals and arguably the most prolific goal-scorer of his generation, which is backed up by his eight Rocket Richard trophies.
Ovechkin was at No. 3 in NHL 19 as a 92 overall, and he was one spot lower this year. His attributes are exactly the same as NHL 19, and there’s no reason to change them since he’s consistently one of the best players in the game. He’s always a top-five player and will likely continue to be until he retires.
No. 3: Nikita Kucherov, 92 OVR
Nikita Kucherov was last season’s Hart Trophy winner and had 128 points, which was the best in the league by far. It was his second consecutive 100-point season, and while many weren’t sure if he could repeat his 2017-18 season, he proved them wrong. He was arguably the best offensive player in the NHL last season.
In NHL 19’s top-50 list, Kucherov was No. 6 at 91 overall. There’s no arguing he deserved an upgrade. To only give him a 92 was an interesting choice by EA, but a smart one in my opinion. It’s odd, however, that his hand-eye, passing and puck control are all down one point, but his shot-blocking and stick-checking got one- and two-point increases. His offensive awareness is also up to a 94 and his point went from a 90 to a 95. EA did the right thing by only going up one point because they can upgrade him further if he continues to be on pace for 100 points.
No. 2: Sidney Crosby, 93 OVR
Last season, Sidney Crosby had his first 100-point season and averaged more than 21 minutes per game for the first time since 2013-14. He finished second in Hart Trophy voting and fourth in Selke Trophy voting. He was a big reason the Pittsburgh Penguins made it into the playoffs once again.
Crosby has arguably been the best player of his generation. In NHL 19, he was also a 93 overall and No. 2 on the top 50 list. His face-offs attribute went up from an 80 to a 93, and while it seems extreme, his face-off percentage went up nearly 2.5 percentage points. His durability is also up to an 88, but like Ovechkin, there’s no arguing his rating. He is one of the best to ever play the game and EA treats him as such.
No. 1: Connor McDavid, 94 OVR
There’s not much else to say except McDavid has been the best player in the world over the last three seasons. He’s had 100 points in three of his four NHL seasons, including 116 last year. He’s had 41 goals in each of the last two seasons and increased his average time on ice to nearly 23 minutes a game.
McDavid was No. 1 on NHL 19’s top-50 list and the only 94 overall last year, and the same is true this year. His face-offs are up one point (81) and his durability is up to an 89. As long as he’s healthy, he will almost always be in the conversation for the Hart Trophy, and over the last three seasons, there’s no one more deserving of being the top player in the NHL video game series than him.