NHL 22 slated to launch in October, Auston Matthews returns as cover athlete

NHL is headed to the next generation.

Earlier this week, EA Sports teased that details regarding NHL 22 would arrive on August 19. EA has delivered on its promise, as the company released a slew of information on the new title, including console info, new gameplay features, and the release date. And as for the cover athlete, it looks EA will be following the FIFA route for NHL 22.

Maple Leafs centerman Auston Matthews returns as cover athlete for NHL 22. The American sensation and 2020-21 Rocket Richard Trophy winner will be on the front of the game for the second time in three years, as Matthews was also on the cover of NHL 20.

This year’s gameplay should look and feel different, according to EA, thanks to some new changes that will be made to the engine. NHL 22 will use the Frostbite engine for the first time. This engine had been used for the Madden and FIFA series for years, and it will replace the old Ignite system that was used for the Xbox One and PS4 versions prior to 2021. Additionally, NHL 22 will feature “physically accurate” stick interactions, while Superstar X-Factors, which has been a staple in Madden for years, will also migrate to the NHL franchise.

On top of those additions, EA Sports touted that NHL 22’s graphics will take a big step forward. NHL 22 will include upgraded player likenesses, cloth animations, and uniform micro-details. EA Sports has not released info on new modes as of yet, but it did tout in the NHL 22 release announcement that some long-request community features will be announced in the near future.

NHL 22 will launch on October 15 for the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. This will be first NHL game to have an official version for the Xbox Series X/S and PS5. NHL 21 did not have a next-gen version, but it could be played on those consoles via backwards compatibility.