Gameplay was excellent. The hockey was up-beat and fast-paced. The control scheme was aweome with A being pass and B shoot. I love the play-maker plays that could be done with great players. The franchise mode is a lot of fun accept for there being no mode that you can build new arenas. There was actually a response to winning the Stanely Cup unlike some other games in which you win a championship and nothing happens. I also love the sim intervention. You can sim the game period by period and intervene if you are losing or you just want to finish off the oppenent.
The graphics were o.k. There were some frame-rate issues. The players faces were pretty good and the menus were Gamecube quality.
The commentators do a great job of calling the games except if you play the same team too often, it starts getting repetitive. NHL 06 surprised me and I wish that EA Sports and 2K Sports would make more sports games for Nintendo.