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NHL 23 Release Date, First Gameplay Revealed With Zegras Flip; No Russian Teams Allowed

EA Sports has officially announced NHL 23, and it's out this October with a number of new features and improvements.

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Following the announcement of its cover stars Trevor Zegras and Sarah Nurse, EA Sports has officially announced NHL 23 with a debut gameplay trailer, release date, and details on what's new in this year's pro hockey game.

NHL 23 will be released on October 14 for Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and in a first for the series, there will be cross-platform matchmaking for some of its modes. Cross-platform matchmaking will go live in November and is limited to the Hockey Ultimate Team and World of Chel modes.

Clappy, the NHL 23 community manager, shared the news about crossplay and what it means for the game. "For the first time in franchise history, Xbox and PlayStation players will be able to play against each other in NHL 23," Clappy said. More details about cross-platform matchmaking are available via the link below.

Also new for NHL 23 are 500 additional "last-chance" animations. When players stumble on the ice, they can perform desperation moves like shooting and passing from their knees. This is an effort to bring flashy, highlight reel goals to the game. On that note, the "Zegras flip" has been added to NHL 23. This will allow players to alley-oop the puck to a player in front of the net just like Zegras did last season.

Additionally, AI goalies are now better and smarter; they can make desperation saves thanks to 350 new save animations.

IIHF Women's Nation Team members can now play alongside men in Hockey Ultimate Team. However, there is no fighting allowed between men and women hockey players, EA said in a presentation attended by GameSpot.

NHL 23 runs on the Frostbite engine and also promises more realistic, reactive crowds that boo away players and get loud on odd-man rushes, as well as updates to the franchise mode to give players more control over managing a team. In terms of visual updates, there are new skin animations to highlight imperfections and new gear like mirrored visors and gold helmets. The ice will now display more realistic-looking scratches and ice build-up will collect in corners as games go on. Additionally, ice spray will leave marks on boards like it would in real life.

The X-Factor abilities from last year's game also return this year and add new ones, including "Skilled Up," which is meant to highlight Zegras' incredible playmaking skills.

Additionally, developers at EA explained that NHL 23 will not have any Russian or Belarusian teams due to the war in Ukraine. Another thing to note is that the Arizona Coyotes will play in a smaller stadium to reflect the real-world debacle of what's happening for their home ice situation.

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