EA Sports’ latest edition of their annual game, NHL 18, was released on Friday and the Montreal Canadiens are actually treated very well by the company.
The team itself has an overall of 91. Only two teams have overalls higher than that – the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. The team overalls are pretty close together with the lowest team at 88 and six teams tied with Montreal at 91.
The ratings are also tailored lower than usual. The highest rating in the game is 93, and only 14 players have ratings of 90 or above, so keep that in mind when looking at the ratings of the Habs.
We will be showing every member of the Canadiens organization that is in the game. NCAA players and players in leagues that are not in the game are not represented. That’s why you will see Joni Ikonen and Joonas Nattinen, but not Ryan Poehling or Jakub Jerabek.
|Tomas Plekanec||81||Top 6||Exact|
|Phillip Danault||80||Top 9||Medium|
|Andreas Martinsen||77||Bottom 6||Exact|
|Torrey Mitchell||76||Bottom 6||Exact|
|Charles Hudon||77||Top 6||Low|
|Peter Holland||76||Bottom 6||Medium|
|Byron Froese||72||AHL Top 6||Medium|
|Joonas Nattinen||72||AHL Top 6||Medium|
|Lukas Vejdemo||66||Top 9||Medium|
|Daniel Audette||63||AHL Top 6||High|
|Markus Eisenschmid||61||AHL Top 6||Medium|
|Will Bitten||60||Top 9||Medium|
|Joni Ikonen||60||Top 9||Medium|
|Michael Pezzetta||56||Bottom 6||Medium|
The game still has Alex Galchenyuk as a C and Jonathan Drouin at wing, but the newest roster update has the lines updated to have Drouin at centre and Galchenyuk on the wing. I doubt throughout the season that their actual primary position will change, though.
|Paul Byron||79||Top 9||Exact|
|Artturi Lehkonen||78||Top 6||Medium|
|Daniel Carr||74||Bottom 6||Medium|
|Jacob de la Rose||72||Top 9||Low|
|Max Friberg||71||AHL Top 6||Medium|
I know of a few people who will think Lehkonen is too low, but he was actually in the mid-70s up until the last roster update last year, so he still gets a bit of a bump for his strong playoff run. The ratings to Pacioretty and Drouin seem low (like Galchenyuk above) until you realize that EA Sports lowered ratings across the board so they are well above average at their current numbers.
|Brendan Gallagher||82||Top 6||Medium|
|Andrew Shaw||79||Top 9||Medium|
|Ales Hemsky||78||Top 9||Exact|
|Chris Terry||76||Bottom 6||Exact|
|Michael McCarron||75||Top 9||Medium|
|Nikita Scherbak||72||Top 6||Medium|
|Jeremy Gregoire||64||AHL Top 6||Low|
|Martin Reway||62||AHL Top 6||High|
|Jeremiah Addison||61||Bottom 6||Medium|
|Antoine Waked||60||AHL Top 6||Medium|
A lot to take in here. You could say that McCarron and Scherbak are low, but the game tends not to rate young players too highly. Martin Reway’s rating is untouched from a year ago.
|Karl Alzner||83||Top 4||Exact|
|Jeff Petry||82||Top 4||Exact|
|Jordie Benn||80||Top 6||Exact|
|David Schlemko||80||Top 6||Exact|
|Mark Streit||79||Top 6||Exact|
|Brandon Davidson||78||Top 6||Medium|
|Eric Gelinas||77||7th D||Medium|
|Joe Morrow||77||Top 6||Medium|
|Zach Redmond||76||7th D||Exact|
|Matt Taormina||73||7th D||Exact|
|Brett Lernout||68||AHL Top 2||Low|
|Tom Parisi||66||AHL Top 2||Medium|
|Noah Juulsen||65||Top 4||Medium|
|Cale Fleury||61||Top 4||Low|
|Simon Bourque||60||7th D||Medium|
|Victor Mete||59||Top 6||Low|
|Jarret Tyszka||58||Top 6||Low|
|Josh Brook||56||7th D||Medium|
|Scott Walford||56||7th D||Medium|
So many defencemen. I know Marc Bergevin says you can’t have too many defencemen, but he didn’t have to fill this sheet in. Alzner ahead of Petry will definitely be a topic of contention, and the game seems to agree that the Canadiens have a glut of guys who could play some NHL minutes.
The game seems very high on Cale Fleury and less so on Josh Brook but the CHL ratings are very inconsistent.
|Charlie Lindgren||71||AHL Starter||High|
|Michael McNiven||62||Fringe Starter||Medium|
I would argue that Lindgren and McNiven are too low, while Montoya is probably a touch high. Fucale is about right but the potentials here are a little all over the place. Price is the best goaltender in the game with his rating.
So there you have it. We’ll have more on NHL 18 this week, including a review with some simulations that will surely generate some discussion.