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NHL 15 is an ice hockey video game developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports.

It is the 24th installment of the NHL series and was released on September 9, 2014 in North America & then three days later in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The game serves as the debut entry in the series for eighth generation consoles, receiving releases on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins is the official cover athlete.

Votes were taken and were advertised for on many NHL team's websites, stating, "Help your favorite player become the EA Sports NHL 15 Cover Athlete!"


New Features[]

Most features are exclusive to the next generation versions (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) and are not present in the previous generation versions (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360).

  • NHL Collision Physics is EA's revamped player physics and allows for secondary collisions, player pileups and net scrambles. In the next generation, this applies to all 12 players on the ice, meaning that all players are affected by physics.

This allows for pileups involving all 12 players. In the previous generation, not all 12 players are affected by physics, and pileups do not involve all of them.

  • Revamped puck physics leads to authentic and unpredictable puck bounces, rolls and goals in the next generation versions. Everything on the ice controls puck physics.

According to NHL 15 producer Sean Ramjagsingh, EA hired a software engineer who worked on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to help make the puck physics as realistic as possible.

  • New modeling system for players and equipment allows for dynamic cloth technology in the next generation, with the players' clothes moving and affecting physics.
  • Authentic NHL arenas: For the next generation versions, EA is re-creating 28 NHL arenas (PNC Arena and The United Center excluded) in extensive detail, making each arena unique and enabling larger crowds at NHL games.
  • NBC Sports Game Day Presentation: As part of a new partnership with NBC Sports, the next generation versions will feature a broadcast package that closely resembles The NHL on NBC broadcasts.
  • NBC Sports Game Day Presentation: As part of a new partnership with NBC Sports, the next generation versions will feature a broadcast package that closely resembles The NHL on NBC broadcasts.

Additionally, in the next generation versions, NBC Sports and TSN analyst Ray Ferraro will give game insights at ice level. Ferraro's proximity to EA's development studios in Vancouver allows EA to call him midseason to update the game with new insights as the 2014–15 season progresses.

Emrick and Olczyk were recorded in front of a green screen and have been directly put into the virtual studio in the next generation versions, which eliminates lip syncing.

  • Living crowds: On the next generation, the crowd is more alive with individuals holding up player signs, wearing costumes, and reacting authentically to plays. Over 9,000 new crowd models produces various different types of fans.

In the next generation, Vision AI makes non-human-controlled players more aware of what is happening on the ice, including potential plays.

  • Group celebration returns to the NHL series for the first time since NHL 11, allowing goalscorers to celebrate with teammates in the next generation versions. New individual player celebrations have also been added.
  • Ultimate Edition: On June 30, 2014, EA confirmed that buyers can purchase an "Ultimate Edition" of the game for 10 extra dollars than the normal version would cost.

Buyers of this exclusive edition will receive special content for the game's "Ultimate Team" mode, a popular game mode across all of EA's sports games, and will be playable in NHL 15. One down side to the Xbox One and PS4 players is it has less modes than the older generation.

Features Removed[]

Both EASHL and GM Connected are not included in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game, however, they are available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. EA plans on reintroducing an improved EASHL game mode in future versions of the game.

Online Team Play will not be available for PS4 and Xbox One at launch, however, the mode is planned to be added in a future content update for the game. You will also not be able to control who you draft in "Be a GM Mode" which is a huge part of building a successful team.

Another feature removed from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game was the more involved Be A Pro game mode titled "Live the Life" which was originally introduced in NHL 14. "Live the Life" will be included in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of NHL 15.

The less involved game mode "Be A Pro" will be included in NHL 15 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, though there will be no minor league teams involved, a random draft position for players, a lack of customization for players and players will no longer have the ability to simulate between shifts during games.

In light of the removed features for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, EA Sports NHL producer Sean Ramjagsingh confirmed via Twitter that a content update will later fix and improve the drafting feature.

All special events in "Be A Pro" Career play have been removed, there is no interactivity beyond just playing the games.

Operation Sports created a complete list of missing modes/features that were available in last year's installment of the series but are either not included in the game at all for PS4/Xbox One, or were not spotted during the early access period.


A demo of the game was released for download on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 26, 2014.

An exhibition game can be played between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings as well as the practice mode.

Leagues and Teams[]

The game will include the NHL, AHL (North America), Liiga (Finland), SHL (Sweden), Czech Extraliga (Czech Republic), DEL (Germany) and the NLA (Switzerland). In addition, the game will include the CHL, which comprises the QMJHL, OHL, and the WHL.

The game will also feature the two teams from the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game as well as a maximum-ranked "Legends" team featuring a number of former NHL stars.

As a result of the 2014 Kvalserien, AIK will be replaced by Djurgårdens IF in the SHL.

Other new teams in the game are the Adirondack Flames and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL, following the relocations of the Abbotsford Heat and the Adirondack Phantoms, respectively.

The NHL team Phoenix Coyotes will be renamed Arizona Coyotes.

Another new team in NHL 15 is Sport (Vaasa) from Vaasa who rose to Liiga when Jokerit joined the KHL.

National teams will be included, but the lack of an IIHF license prevents EA from using the official jerseys for the national teams or any official international tournaments in the game. It also means that EA can not put real players in national teams if they are not included in any league or the free agent list in the game.

Additionally, players may create their own teams through the "Create Team" feature, but only on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, as the Creation Zone section of the game will be absent from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions.


Like the NHL 14 cover, anybody could vote on the player(s) they wished to see on the official cover of NHL 15.

The voting started on May 5, 2014 with eight NHL players in a single-elimination voting with two players in each matchup, and was closed on June 1, 2014.

P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins reached the final and it was announced at the 2014 NHL Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas on June 24, 2014 that EA Sports chose Bergeron to be the cover athlete. The cover vote received 10 million votes worldwide in total.


In the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, an original orchestral score is used in the menus, and these songs only play in arenas.

NHL 15 on last-gen consoles use EA Trax for the menus, which contains 22 songs.

Game Reception[]

The game was not well received by critics, garnering a 59/100 (Xbox One) and a 60/100 (PS4) review from Metacritic.

IGN gave the game a 7/10 and GameSpot gave it a 5/10. Amongst fans, however, the game was met with overwhelming disdain, mostly due to the numerous missing features for next gen consoles.

The situation got so bad that EA NHL producer Sean Ramjagsingh had to post on the EA forums a list of features to be added via patch in the coming months, all of this before the game was even released.

The general consensus amongst fans of the series seems to be that while gameplay has improved, all but the basic features in the game were removed in favor of DLC.

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