‘NHL 18’ Gameplay Features: Improvements On The Offensive And Defensive Ends Of The Ice Are Made

Connor McDavid is the cover athlete for NHL 18.
Connor McDavid is the cover athlete for NHL 18. EA Sports

Fans of EA Sports’ NHL franchise have to be excited about the early news regarding NHL 18. Between Expansion Mode, the addition of the new Adidas branded jerseys, and three-on-three, EA Sports is going all out with the game.

More information was released about NHL 18 this week as EA Sports went into details about the new gameplay features. While creating an expansion team is fun, the real excitement comes from the on-ice action, and there will be some changes to how you play NHL 18.

In addition to three-on-three hockey, which Player.one has discussed, there three new components to the game this year. They are Creative Attacks Dekes, Defensive Skill Stick, and Creative AI.

In NHL 17, the developers of NHL added new dekes and moves to the game that gave players numerous ways to score a goal. In NHL 18, Creative Attack dekes give players even more moves they could accomplish. Between the legs passes and shots are among some of the new moves that players will be able to execute. In hockey, creating space is necessary to score goals and the moves added to the game will accomplish that. For defensive players who like to play defense the mid-90’s New Jersey Devils, how will you stop these new offensive moves?

Defensive Skill Stick is another new addition to NHL 18. Poke checks are one of the more valuable defensive skills. This feature will allow players to target their poke check to stop a rush towards your goalie. The “sweeper stick” ability will allow your defense to cut off the zone they are in from passes and shots. While reading and reacting is tough (trust me, I always guess wrong), NHL 18 gives you more weapons defensively to stop opponents from getting a shot off.

Finally, EA Sports improved the AI of NHL 18. In NHL 17, there were instances where opportunities to get out on an odd man rush were stopped when you are forced to pass the nearest player to you. This year, players will have more and frequent opportunities for breakouts in NHL 18. Lead and off the board passes are improved, as well new dekes that put players in the best position to score.

These additions to NHL 18 leaves just one question: Are you an offensive player or a defensive player? EA Sports made significant changes to both ends of the ice, so it will be interesting to see how fans not only react but how play changes amongst fans.

NHL 18 is set for a Sept. 15th release for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Check out the gameplay features trailer below. ​

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