Kesler scores NHL 2K11 cover

Vancouver Canucks forward tapped for this year's Wii-exclusive installment in Take-Two's long-skating hockey franchise.

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Considering the popularity of hockey in Canada, it's a wonder there aren't more Canucks on the covers of the sport's digital adaptations. Take-Two Interactive is looking to change that, as the publisher today announced Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will be the cover athlete of this year's Wii-exclusive NHL 2K11.

Kesler skates in a motion-capture session for the game.
Kesler skates in a motion-capture session for the game.

While Kesler is a Canuck, he isn't actually a canuck. The 25-year-old star hails from Michigan and played for the United States in last month's Olympic Games. The American team exceeded expectations, losing a thrilling gold-medal game in overtime to a Canadian team they bested earlier in the tournament.

In a conference call last week, Take-Two executives said the NHL 2K series was "taking a year off," with the Wii version the only edition being developed for release this year. After years of coming in a distant second to Electronic Arts' NHL series both critically and commercially, the publisher decided to take the extra time to ensure its eventual return to the ice would be more competitive.

NHL 2K11 is being developed by Visual Concepts and is set for a fall release.

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