Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin made headlines two weeks ago when he made the cover of 2K Sports' NHL 2K10 after hitting the cover of EA Sports' NHL 07 a few years ago. Now, Electronic Arts is countering with a high-scoring cover star of its own for NHL 10: The Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane. The game is due out on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this fall.
EA's youngest NHL game cover athlete to date, Kane has emerged as one of hockey's most talented players in just two years. He won the Calder Trophy as 2008 Rookie of the Year, and he led his team to the Western Conference Finals. To date, he has scored more than 20 goals and more than 70 points in each of his two seasons.
Speaking to GameSpot Sports, Kane heaped praise on NHL 10. "It's obviously an honor to be on there but the game itself is very realistic," he said. "You're playing along the boards, kicking the puck, things like that, which is very realistic to a real NHL game. You see the fans banging on the boards, fans waving the towels in the playoff games."
EA also announced today that Canadian junior hockey sensation John Tavares will promote the release of NHL 10 as a spokesperson. Many believe Tavares will be the top pick in this year's NHL draft. Kane was the first overall draft pick in the 2007 NHL draft.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Kane is only the second US-born athlete to be featured on the cover of EA Sports' hockey game franchise. The first was New York Rangers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, who appeared on the box for NHL 97.
NHL 10 has been the subject of much critical acclaim. GameSpot named it Best Sports Game of E3, praising the game's new features, such as first-person rink-brawling, improved goalies, new animations, and gameplay refinements. Its most recent predecessor, NHL 09, was named GameSpot's Best Sports Game of 2008.
Check out the trailer of NHL 10 below.