As the NHL 15 launch slowly creeps closer, more details are consistently revealed by the developers. We've seen videos detailing new gameplay improvements or features, and EA Sports has now started releasing player ratings.
EA Sports began with the goalie ratings earlier this week, and will continue to list the top five players in each position as well as list the top 50 overall. The developers have now announced the best-rated left wingers in NHL 15, and included descriptions justifying and explaining each ranking:
1. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: 93 Overall
Was there any doubt? The league's best natural scorer is frighteningly effective when in form, even if his contributions elsewhere may not be up to par.
EA says, "Sure Ovechkin may be slightly one dimensional, but does he ever do that dimension well! Ovechkin comes in as our top rated left winger as he possesses five-stars in Puck Skills, Senses, Shooting, Skating and Physicality. His (95) Wrist Shot Power and (94) Wrist Shot Accuracy is also a league best."
2. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings: 92 Overall
While I'm not sure the Red Wings' captain should be that closely rated to Ovi, his two-way play is stellar, and he can score. "One of the best two-way forwards in the game, Zetterberg plays in all situations. His five-star Puck Skills, Senses, Defense, and Skating make him a constant threat in all three zones."
3. Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild: 90 Overall
He may not put up as many goals as Ovechkin (few do), but the American is a natural scorer in his own right. As the developers describe, "The Minnesota native is coming off one of his most productive seasons. What makes Parise dangerous is his ability to score in a multitude of ways - he can use his five-star Skating to burn flatfooted defenders, unleash an accurate (90) rated Wrist Shot, or deke through you using his (93) rated deking."
4. Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers: 90 Overall
I'm personally not sure I would rate Hall the same as Parise just yet (he's never hit 30 goals, and is still developing), the 2010 top draft pick is a very effective offensive force with his speed and skill. "Over the past few seasons the former first overall pick has been a bright spot for the struggling Oilers. Hall possesses elite wheels with (95) Speed, (94) Acceleration, and (92) Agility."
5. Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars: 90 Overall
Not much separation between these top wingers in terms of overall rating (though I imagine there's a fairly large drop-off outside the top 5), Benn's career year also puts him at a 90. Playing with Seguin sparked his offense to a new level, and it will be interesting to see if he can repeat or improve on his 79 point season. EA says, "Last season proved to be Jamie Benn's breakout season. The skilled power forward is tough to stop with (88) Speed, Acceleration, and Agility to go along with his big frame and five star Shooting rating. At only 25 years old, Benn has the potential to get even better."
That's it for the top five left wingers--do you agree with the list? There are arguments for players like Patrick Sharp and Marleau, though they're also both on better teams than guys like Hall and Benn. It seems fair overall (perhaps some ratings could be changed), and NHL 15's best centers should be coming up next.
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