NHL 18 – HUT Draft Champions Guide

If there’s one thing that NHL 18 has improved upon from previous iterations, it’s that its Hockey Ultimate Team mode offers many more ways for players to earn card packs and Coins. The new Draft Champions option is one of those features. Let’s have a look at what it’s all about.

Draft Champions – How it Works

NHL 18 HUT Draft Champions Rewards

The Draft Champions option can be found under the Online tab in your My HUT menu. You’ll first be asked if you want to participate in this mode offline against the CPU, or online against other NHL 18 players. You then get to pick a Draft Champions theme. This is where this mode’s replayability really shines. EA Sports is offering up several different player buckets that your drafts will be fed by. For example, you can choose the Young Guns option which will fill your draft with young players such as Patrick Laine or Auston Matthews. Or you can choose the Grizzled Veterans option and have a chance at including legends like Mike Bossy in your lineup.

Following those decisions, you’ll be presented with the draft interface. The premise is very simple. The game fills your team’s lineup with a randomly chosen list of below average players. These form the basis of your HUT team for this go-around of Draft Champions. You then draft one of four players that is presented to you in each of the 12 rounds of the draft. A higher ranked player will displace the lowest ranked one in its position currently on that team.

NHL 18 HUT Draft Champions Draft Board
An arrow indicates where Evgeny Kuznetsov will fit in my squad if I choose to draft him.

Draft Champions – Gameplay and Rewards

Once you’ve finalized your team, you’re off to face your opponents. Depending on whether you chose to play Offline or Online, you’ll be matched up against four teams. For each team that you beat, you earn a number of Draft Champions Collectibles. Winning all four games will give you a chance at the best rewards, but even winning just two or three games will get you something.

NHL 18 HUT Draft Champions Top Players

Your four opponents will be progressively difficult, and while the first one you face is a walk in the park, the third or fourth one represents a real challenge. Each game is played in three 20 minute periods, as Mike Emrick’s sage commentary would say. They only run for about five real minutes though.

So what do you do with these Draft Champion Collectibles? They make up part of the Draft Champions Set. Trade in 30 collectible cards and you can earn a variety of 85 OVR rated players, ranging from Connor McDavid to Nathan MacKinnon. That may not seem like the world’s best reward, but these cards are pretty easy to attain.

Draft Champions is a welcome addition to HUT in NHL 18 and offers players a quick way to experiment with different team lineups. Give it a try!