The better goalies, defensive tools in NHL 17

NHL 17’s latest trailer, released today by publisher Electronic Arts, offers a look at a variety of gameplay improvements that developer EA Vancouver is promising this year.

One of NHL 17’s biggest features is the debut of net battles, a vital facet of real-life hockey in which forwards and defenders jockey for position in front of the net. Defensemen will have the ability to lift the sticks of attackers, preventing them from deflecting an outside shot, and shove forward out of the way. Meanwhile, forwards will be able to spin out of defenders’ tie-ups, like the New York Rangers’ Rick Nash does in the trailer.

EA Vancouver has also done a lot of work with goalies this year, introducing a new type of save in which netminders can “use their bodies to stay big and block” instead of resorting to reactionary saves, says senior producer Sean Ramjagsingh in the trailer. Plus, the NHL’s best goalies will look like themselves in NHL 17 with authentic stances.

The dump-and-chase attack has rarely worked well in EA’s NHL games — when you dump the puck in, your CPU teammates often do a poor job of, well, chasing it. That’s changing this year, according to the developers of NHL 17. EA Vancouver also says that once you’ve got the puck in the offensive zone, you’ll have more tools to get your team set up and keep the puck moving.

For more details on NHL 17’s gameplay, watch the trailer above. NHL 17 is set for release Sept. 13 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A public beta will be available from July 28 through Aug. 4.

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