It’s always interesting to find out who the cover athlete is for any sport’s video game franchise. Fans love to debate why their player should have snagged the spot, and why the athlete who got it wasn’t worthy. In the case of P.K. Subban, the global cover athlete for NHL 19, nobody seems to disagree he’s a great fit. However, that hasn’t stopped EA Canada from naming local cover athletes for hockey hotbeds, Sweden and Finland. William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs will be the cover athlete for Sweden, and Patrick Laine will take the cover spot for Finland.
While this won’t mean much to those of us in North America, putting local celebrities on the cover of NHL 19 could help drive sales in those regions, and it’s clearly welcomed by the athletes themselves, who are both avid gamers. “It is an honor to be on the Swedish cover of EA SPORTS NHL 19, it has been a childhood dream since I was young kid,” said Nylander.
— William Nylander (@wmnylander) August 2, 2018
Laine was equally stoked, and even name dropped a fellow teammate that he plays games with. “Playing chel is a great way for me to relax and have fun during the long season. I play with Ehlers and other teammates almost every day. It is really special to represent Finnish hockey culture in the cover of this legendary game.”
— Patrik Laine (@PatrikLaine29) August 2, 2018
Nylander and Laine are both are talented enough to potentially land the global cover eventually. Laine is likely the frontrunner there, but even he would have to get by Auston Matthews for that, and Matthews is at least another year away after P.K. Subban (deservedly) got this year’s global cover.
NHL 19 is set to release on September 14, 2018. Hopefully, Nylander and Laine can pull themselves away from Fortnite long enough to enjoy World of CHEL!