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Toews, Durant score EA Sports NHL, NBA covers

Blackhawks center and 2010 playoffs MVP heads up publisher's annual hockey sim, while top-scoring Thunder forward fronts Elite 11.


Both the NHL and the NBA concluded their seasons this month, as the Chicago Blackhawks took home the Stanley Cup on June 8 while the LA Lakers capped E3 2010 last Thursday by hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Now, Electronic Arts is looking ahead to the 2011 season, announcing this week the cover athletes for its upcoming hockey and basketball simulations.

Between a gold medal and a Stanley Cup, Toews is having a pretty good year.
Between a gold medal and a Stanley Cup, Toews is having a pretty good year.

On the ice, EA has gone with Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to be the face of NHL 11, which will also be the 20th anniversary installment in the series. Beyond his Stanley Cup win, the Blackhawks center was named NHL playoffs MVP this year, and he also picked up a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics as part of the Canadian hockey team. Just 22 years old, Toews is currently the youngest captain in the NHL and has more than 65 points in each of his first two seasons.

In development at EA Canada's Burnaby branch, NHL 11 will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the North America this September. Additions to this year's game include broken sticks, an upgraded face-off system, and the inclusion of the Canadian Hockey League.

Durant, with the rock.
Durant, with the rock.

EA won't be drawing its NBA Elite 11 cover star from the Lakers, or even league runner-ups, the Boston Celtics. Instead, Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant has been chosen to front the box of EA's basketball sim franchise. Though his team lost to the Lakers during the first round of this year's playoffs, Durant led the league in scoring, the youngest player to do so.

EA Canada's Vancouver arm is developing NBA Elite 11 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it is due out this September. For an idea of what to expect from EA's rebranded hoops sim, check out GameSpot's just-published first hands-on with the game.

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