EA Sports Declares Kessel Good At Hockey


The fine folks at EA Sports are gearing towards another new release in their NHL Video Game series, and as such, are drumming up fan interest in whatever way they can. Earlier in the year, it was assaulting Twitter with hashtags (also known as the Cover Vote). Now, they’re slowly but surely leaking out player ratings, mostly so people can argue about how they’re the stupidest thing to ever stupid and totally wrong.

Phil Kessel is ranked as a 90 overall. But how does that compare to the rest of the league?

Quite good, actually. The Phil’s skating ability, amazing shot, and dashingly good looks have lead to him being ranked as the third best Right Winger in the game. Immediately behind him are Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis, and just ahead of him are Marian Hossa and Corey Perry.

There’s some debate as to whether this is a fair top five, relative. My personal opinion is that spots 1 to 3 rotate on a week-by-week basis, depending on which of Kessel, Kane, and Perry is on the best streak. But Hossa and St. Louis are no slouches, and would be in my top five, albeit with Hossa dropping to the four slot. (EA Sports is taking the logical route and counting Alex Ovechkin at LW).

The reason that Hossa is ahead and Perry is definitively ahead at 93 overall? EA values defensive awareness stats and “grit”. Heck, David Clarkson is a beast in the series, and Dion Phaneuf is probably still in the top 7 or 8 defenemen (but not in the top 5). Perry, despite being a skilled guy, still plays like a grinder and has a physical edge to him, while Hossa is probably the best two-way winger of our generation. As such, the video game loves them.

But hey, 90 overall? Kessel is no slouch. It’s the highest he’s ever been ranked in the game, and the first time the Leafs have seen an EA Sports 90 overall player since Mats Sundin, and the 38 guys you have in the NHL and AHL on your year 21 Be A GM save file.

Praise be.

  • Vancityleaffan

    I would like to start the heated debate and state that I think EA sports is total poopy pants and that Kessel is OBVIOUSLY a 91. Geeze, talk about rip offs.

    Those guys at EA in Burnaby, BC have west coast bias I’d imagine. My office is down the street from there and I see them and their anti-Leaf propaganda every day at lunch.

    On the serious side, I’m an NHL fan, will get the game, but the hype of slowly releasing the top ratings is silly.

    • I actually work at EA in Burnaby and believe me, us Leaf fans are peppered with anti-Leaf propaganda daily.

      I personally feel like the ratings system is pretty weak. I remember a player a few years ago (NHL 11 maybe?) who was 75 overall and EVERY ONE of his attributes was 75. Tons of effort put in there…

      But Phil – he’s a beast!

  • elseldo

    Clarkson is always overrated by EA. Which makes the return on trading him excellent.

    Clarkson/Bozak/pick combo always nabs E.Kane or if I add Franson+1st a Stamkos

  • elseldo

    I personally would rate Kessel ahead of Perry and Hossa (not because I am a biased leaf fan but because Kessel doesn’t exactly play with Getzlaf or Toews and still has gotten more points than either of them over the past two seasons. Hossa is not even close. And yeah sure, Hossa might have that two way game that Kessel doesn’t but Hossa’s team doesn’t need him as much as the Leafs need Kessel. Kessel basically is the key to the Leafs winning games whereas after Hossa, the Hawks are still loaded and do just fine without him. He’s still a good player don’t get me wrong. As for Perry, I honestly don’t really see his skill set as being as amazing as people claim it is. I just watched his goals from this past season and most of them were easy tap in’s coming from amazing set up’s mainly from Lindholm and Getzlaf. A few of them, I admit were good shots and were well placed but they were coming in around the hash marks or the top of the circle off great set up’s where he was left wide open. Not exactly the hardest of goals to get. The rest of them were tip in’s off point shots but that’s not even what he’s good at. JVR is way better at the tip in’s. In Kessel’s goals, he either uses his speed to create a two on one with JVR or he uses his wrist/snap shot from the top of the circle to beat the goalie. Either way he is the one orchestrating the play and doesn’t rely on his center man like Perry does. Again, this is not a knock on Perry but I just see Kessel as a more independent player who doesn’t depend so much on his line mates. Trust me, Perry on the Leafs would not be as good.

    • Gumby

      Kessel might be better than Hossa, but there is no way he’s better than Perry.

      Perry is a better all-around player, and he also has a physical aspect of his game that Phil is lacking.

      I’m biased towards the Leafs too my friend but you’re wrong here.