Since the game’s launch announcement back in August, EA Sports has promised significant changes to several NHL 21 game modes, including Franchise mode. On October 6, we received more details on those changes, as the NHL devs highlighted the new features that players can expect once the game launches on October 6. So what exactly are those changes? Let’s go over everything that’s new to Franchise mode in NHL 21.
Re-addition of Trade Deadline day madness
During the days of the NHL franchise on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Trade Deadline day was a crazy experience. Players only had a few attempts to make trades before the end of the day came, meaning that each planned move needed to be constructed correctly. Otherwise, trades would not be made.
Trade Deadline madness was taken away once the franchise transitioned to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it will return in NHL 21, albeit in a different way. This year, teams will be on the clock on Deadline day, as you’ll have six hours (9 AM – 3PM EST) to complete any trades before time expires.
You can either offer your own trades or wait until you receive other potential deals from opposing teams during this time, but the type of deals that you will be offered will depend on your team’s status. New to NHL 21 is an option to set what position your squad is at heading into the Deadline. Players can choose one of four trade status options (Seller, Conservative Seller, Conservative Buyer, Buyer).
The Trade Deadline home screen is also a new addition to NHL 21. Users can see how much time is remaining, look at which skaters and goalies are on the trade block, and see which teams are interested in those players. There will also be a ticker at the bottom of the screen that will indicate what trades have already been made throughout the day.
Addition of record books
While Franchise mode players could see season and all-time stats for individual players, what could not be seen is the all-time record books in the NHL. This will change in NHL 21, as EA Sports has added NHL single season and all-time records for both skaters and goalies. In addition, single season and all-time records for individual NHL franchises has also been added.
Multiple positions for players
In past years, players in the NHL franchise have only been given one specific position (i.e. center, left wing, etc.). This will change in NHL 21, as now players will now be given multiple positions. This change, as EA notes, should help with lineup generation.
Ability to change Draft Class and Generated prospect quality
New to NHL 21 is the ability to change the quality of prospects entering the league. Users can change the settings to either make stronger draft classes, which should lead to more quality players entering the league, or weaker classes.
Trade logic and value tweaks
Lastly, EA Sports noted that two other changes were made to Franchise mode. The NHL devs have changed up trade logic, in order to avoid having CPU controlled teams put their draft picks on the trade block too early in the season. Additionally, the NHL team has also tweaked the trade value system. Now, there should be more separation between the value of two different players. Also, center and defensemen will now have more trade value than goalies and wingers.