During today’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas, EA Sports unveiled the new cover athlete for NHL 20 as well as its release date this fall. Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews will grace the cover of NHL 20 when it releases on September 13, 2019.
NHL 20 Release Date
The official worldwide release date for NHL 20 is September 13, 2019. As is common these days, there are several ways to get early access to NHL 20.
Subscribers of EA Access will receive access the earliest as part of NHL 20‘s EA Access Play First Trial on September 5, 2019. This typically includes 10 hours of early access to the game and any progress is carried over to the full game upon release. For more information on the EA Access Play First Trial program and other titles available under it, check out the EA Access website.
Gamers who preorder the NHL 20 Deluxe or Ultimate editions will also get three days of early access starting on September 10, 2019.
Auston Matthews Cover Athlete
Every year, EA Sports chooses a new superstar athlete to grace the cover of its annual NHL installment. The past few years included Vladimir Tarasenko, Jonathan Toews, Connor McDavid, and P.K. Subban. Fun fact: Jonathan Toews is the only player to grace the cover of an NHL game twice in the past twenty years. He did so in 2011 and 2016.
Auston Matthews is without a doubt one of the top three players in the current generation of NHL superstars and, frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t chosen last year. Perhaps having him on the cover is the kick the Toronto Maple Leafs need to make it past the first round of the playoffs this year?
NHL 20 New Features
Each year, EA Sports introduces several improvements and new features to the NHL series. In NHL 20, players can expect everything from new broadcast visuals and commentary to Signature Shots that replicate real-world shot styles of superstars.
These Signature Shots are powered by major innovations in EA’s RPM Tech engine which adds new animations and speed to the gameplay. Over 45 new contextual shot animations add a touch of realism when you’re trying to get the puck past the goalie.
NHL 20 adds several new ways to play, such as the ability to play last year’s new ONES mode in local multiplayer games, a new Squad Battles mode copied from the FIFA series, and the brand new Eliminator competitive mode. If you thought that Battle Royale could never make it to a sports game, you’re incorrect. Eliminator pits 81 players against each other in a survival bracket type of tournament.
Finally, World of CHEL is being expanded with additional cosmetic items and four new outdoor locations. Hockey Ultimate Team also has its roster expanded with new playable hockey icons for a total of over 400 cards.
NHL 20 will be officially released on September 13, 2019, with three days early access for preorders of the Deluxe and Ultimate editions, and an EA Access Play First Trial starting on September 5, 2019.