To this very day, grown men purchase NHL video games in anticipation of the player ratings. Generally speaking, the ratings are pretty fair, although some seem insanely off in comparison to others. In doing some research, we’ve discovered a theme when it comes to these terrible player ratings of certain individuals that are rated way too high. Either the player is American. He’s a defenseman. He’s American. Or he’s American.
All jokes aside, EA seems really lazy with some of their player ratings, despite the likes of Fleury, Voracek and Rinne regressing, the game keeps consistent with their rating, which makes absolute no sense. Is it laziness or are they just dumb?
In any event, we're gonna highlight some of these situations, pertaining to NHL 17. Whether the ratings are too high or too low, we document the worst cases in the video game.
Before we do that, shout out goes to Jiri Hudler for his 88 rating last year and Robyn Regehr for his high 80s value throughout the years. We have no clue how you guys did it, but seriously, congrats, from the bottom of our hearts.
From Auston Matthews to Nik Kronwall, let us know identify these disgraceful NHL 17 player ratings. Shame on you EA, shame on you!
15 Alexander Radulov, 83
When it comes to new players, the NHL video game franchise tends to underrate their abilities for whatever reason. Is EA Sports aware that these players had a history of playing elsewhere before returning to the NHL? Well in this case, probably not, with Alex Radulov ranking in with an 83 rating that seems laughable. The game is telling us that he’s the same type of talent as another Montreal newcomer, Andrew Shaw. No disrespect to Shaw, but a comparison can’t be made when looking at these two players side by side. The Shaw rating however seems to be accurate, while the Radulov one is way off.
He’s currently in his prime and collected 65 points in 53 games last season with CSKA Moscow. When you look at his other point totals abroad, you scratch your head when looking at this rating. With EA updating the ratings throughout the season, look for the Russian sniper to be elevated towards an 86 or 87 rating as the season progresses.
14 Rasmus Ristolainen, 87
Life assures us three guarantees; death, taxes and EA Sports overrating NHL defensemen. Since the game launched years ago, the developers have a knack for overrating d-men. Who can forget the days of Robyn Regehr being labelled as an 88 defender, which is insane for a guy that didn’t have a single season over 26 points.
In NHL 17, EA is at it again, this time with a young defender. The Finland native Rasmus Ristolainen was ranked as an 87 overall. Yes, the blueliner has showed great offensive skills, but defensively he still isn’t even close to where he has to be, with a -21 rating last season, which was preceeded by a previous -32 rating during the 2014-15 campaign. EA got a little too excited with this one.
13 Brandon Dubinsky, 87
Disgraceful sums this one up. Aside from being a thorn in the side of Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky really hasn’t done much of anything throughout his career. He does have heart, so we'll give him that, but ratings wise, the guy shouldn't be higher than 83 and even that's being generous.
Instead, EA felt the urge to rank him as an elite centerman with such a rating. It's really confusing given his terrible season last year, which saw him put up a career low -16 rating and only 48 points. His performance with Team USA was equally bad and he was one of the main reasons the team flopped so badly due to his “aggressive” style of play.
Look for this rating to plummet a month into the NHL season.
12 Auston Matthews, 77
Like we discussed earlier in this article, EA seems to have a hard time when it comes to ranking players that are new to the NHL. Young players are another category EA tends to overlook while rating new stars. We're not sure if the developers got the memo, but Auston Matthews is pretty darn good already. His play in the World Cup of Hockey proved that and so did his days prior to joining the NHL. The kid put up 46 points in 36 games last year, playing in a league filled with grown men in the Swiss league. But again, the game put a blindfold on by not looking at his prior performances.
Like Radulov, look for the game to boost up his rating during the regular season. A possible 84 or 85 rating seems likely. Staying at 77...not so much.
11 Kyle Palmieri, 87
Some of you probably forgot that Kyle Palmieri is in the NHL. No, he’s not with Anaheim any more and he’s actually with the Devils. To his credit, the American had a career year, putting up 30 goals and 57 points.
There's a couple of reasons you probably forgot about those stats: one, he plays for New Jersey and two, he plays for New Jersey. In terms of NHL exposure, you rarely hear anything about the Devils because of their lack of star power on the team, though that might change with Taylor Hall this year.
Back to Kyle and he did deserve a decent rating coming off his best year yet, but an 87 rating is too high, especially considering he's only had one good NHL season in his career. An 84 would have made much more sense for this particular player.
10 Zach Bogosian, 85
We need to accept the fact that we live in a world where Zach Bogosian was labelled by EA as an 85 rated defender. It's odd that another American born player was rated higher than he should have been, hmmmm...
Anyway, the rating is horrendous, as the Buffalo defenseman is 26 years old, but you wouldn’t know that by watching him play, as Bogosian skates like a defenseman that’s playing in an alumni game. His puck moving abilities are also extremely questionable as well, which should only lower his rating.
So why the 85 rating you ask? Maybe because he was a -11 last year? Or the fact that he's scored 13 goals in the last three years? We think it's because he has a killer beard. There's really no other reason.
9 Nathan MacKinnon, 87
Just a couple of weeks ago, Nathan MacKinnon had the ACC jumping when he scored the most electrifying goal of the World Cup tournament, destroying poor Henrik Lundqvist in the process. What made the goal even more remarkable was the fact that it all went down in overtime, giving the North American kids the improbable victory.
That goal really showed MacKinnon’s attributes on full display, with his tremendous deking abilities, awareness and backhand skills being highlighted. With that in mind, it’s truly hard to believe that captain Gabe Landeskog is rated higher than Nathan. When assessing their attributes, Nathan seems to be the runaway winner when looking at the two. However, EA thought against it and gave the Avs captain the higher rating of 88, which is extremely puzzling. Look for their ratings to finally switch up in the next NHL or during the season updates.
8 Jakub Voracek, 90
Last season, poolies were excited about Jakuv Voracek's potential, as he was coming off a glorious 81 point season which was close to being the league’s best. If you drafted him early, chances are a couple of objects magically disappeared in your home and were destroyed brutally because of his lackluster season (55 points), which paled in comparison to his 2014-15 campaign.
Well, it seems like EA didn’t get the memo about his 11 goal season. The game went ahead and rated him as a 90. That’s the exact same rating he got last season. So is EA telling us that he was just as good or were they too lazy to change his overall? We'll let you guys decide that one.
7 Pekka Rinne, 91
Similar to Jakub Voracek, fans turned violent following Pekka Rinne’s disappointing season last year. Fans had reason to believe he’d be a rock at the back for Nashville, coming off an insane 41-17 record during the 2014-15 campaign.
His 2015-16 campaign was nowhere near that level. The Preds goaltender was very inconsistent throughout the year and struggled to find his game. He finished the year with a 34-21 record, but had significantly worse GAA and save percentage numbers.
EA didn’t take note of his troubled season and instead opted to barely change his rating, keeping him in the 90s, among the league’s very best between the pipes. Again, is the game being lazy or did they not watch Rinne last season? For those of us that know about his struggles, this rating is terribly inappropriate.
6 Niklas Kronwall, 88
After years and years of “Kronwalling” his opponents, the great Niklas Kronwall is finally slowing down. Set to turn 36 in January, Kronwall is not only skating slower, but his numbers have also dipped terribly. Kronner came off his worst season to date last year, scoring only three goals, along with an awful -21 rating. As the quarterback of Detroit’s power play, this is unacceptable.
Along with those negative factors, he's come injury prone of late. He missed out on 18 games last season and skipped all of training camp this year due to nagging injuries. His status to open the season remains in doubt at this point.
With all this being said, his rating was certainly off and way too generous. At this point, Kronner would be lucky to be an 84 caliber guy.
5 Bobby Ryan, 87
Before we attack Bobby Ryan, let's give a shout out to Dion Phaneuf for his 86 rating. We don’t know how you did it bud, but congrats.
Over to Ryan and we have yet ANOTHER OVERRATED AMERICAN BORN PLAYER. We have no clue how EA gave Ryan this rating, especially considering how lackluster his 2015/16 season was. Perhaps cause he’s American? Regardless of why and how, looking at his stats alone, it just seems unfathomable. The former 30 goal scorer hasn't scored more than 23 goals since 2011/12, but still is treated like a top end player.
Again, it might be EA just being lazy and failing to see these statistics, as they constantly leave players with a high rating based on their name value alone. Ryan seems to be the poster boy for this in the new NHL 17 video game.
4 Jordan Staal, 87
Oh, I’m sorry EA, I wasn’t aware that I purchased a copy of NHL 12. NHL fans will remember that was a time when Jordan Staal was actually relevant in the NHL. We mean no disrespect to Jordan Staal, who is still a useful player, but he should be nowhere near an 87 rating. In NHL 12 he certainly was, as he was a star with the Pens and had a 25 goal season to show for it. Nowadays, he’s a 20 goal guy at best and that's only only happened once since his breakout year.
So with all this in mind, why is his rating so high? Laziness? Cause he's American? Who knows. All we know is that this rating is way too high.
3 Kevin Shattenkirk, 90
Add another American born d-man to the list of overrated NHL players in the EA Sports video game. It's odd to see Kevin Shattenkirk rated amongst the highest defensemen in the video game, considering he’s on the second pairing for the St. Louis Blues. In addition to that, he's coming off his worst season defensively, finishing the year with a -14 rating.
So the rating seems kind of wrong, though we should credit Kevin for his puck moving abilities and skating, which is typically incredibly value in an NHL video game. Those skills should net him an 85 rating or slightly higher, but nowhere near his current rating of 90, which should be reserved for top d-men like Drew Doughty and Duncan Keith.
2 Dustin Byfuglien, 91
We close off our list of overrated American born players with Dustin Byfuglien, who landed a 91 overall. This for a guy that can’t skate backwards.
Look, Buff puts up great numbers, but his game has plenty of holes. Buff’s career high in plus minus was a+7 during his Chicago days. More times than not, he’s on the ice when the opposition scores. Looking at his individual attributes, it also seems unjust to give him such a rating. Buff has below average speed ,which should hurt his overall a lot more than it does in the video game. Offensively, the guy is dynamite, but defensively, the game was far too generous with his rating.
Look for his overall to drop substantially in the next NHL game.
1 Marc-Andre Fleury, 90
Marc-Andre Fleury wins the championship title for the worst rating in NHL 17. Seriously, a backup with a 90 rating? What the hell happened there?
It seems like the EA developers missed out on Fleury’s season last year. He lost his job to a kid while out with an injury and couldn’t stop a beach ball once they put him back in. No disrespect to Fleury, who is still an asset, but a 90 rating is way too high at this point.
Star goaltender and cup winner Matt Murray is rated as an 86, which means Fleury should be rated similarly, at best. Given his solid history, an 87 rating would make a lot more sense.
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