NHL Wiki

NHL Series logotype

The NHL Series is a series of professional ice hockey simulation video games developed by EA Vancouver and published yearly by Electronic Arts under the "EA Sports" brand.

The game is developed under license from the National Hockey League (NHL), which enables the use of the league's team names, stadiums and colors in the game and the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) which enables the use of the League's player names and likenesses).


Game Covers[]

As is traditional with EA Sports, the NHL series boxes feature live action photos instead of drawings.

As it lacked the NHLPA license, the early titles staged photos without real players. NHLPA Hockey '93, on the other hand, had the rights to use player images, but not of the teams.

On this cover, the main action photo features the New York Rangers' Randy Moller checking the Philadelphia Flyers' Rod Brind'Amour while Rangers goaltender Mike Richter makes a save (in this photo there is the logo of the New York Rangers located on the bottom right of the goaltender's pants).

This photo is surrounded by eight small portraits of players (Steve Yzerman, Andy Moog, Pat LaFontaine, Brian Leetch, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Jeremy Roenick and Rick Tocchet).

This changed with NHL 94 which featured a goal situation for Tomas Sandstrom (LA Kings) against Andy Moog (Boston).

NHL 95 featured an in-goal camera during a goal scored by Alexei Kovalev of the New York Rangers during the '94 Stanley Cup Finals against Kirk McLean of the Vancouver Canucks.

NHL 96 featured New Jersey's Scott Stevens and Detroit's Steve Yzerman.

Claude Giroux was featured on the cover of NHL 13 and Martin Brodeur was on the cover of NHL 14.

On June 24, 2014, EA Sports announced at the 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas that Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins would be the official cover athlete for NHL 15.

In 2015, during the 2015 NHL Awards, it was announced that the cover of NHL 16 would feature Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane carrying the Stanley Cup together.

However, on August 12, 2015, EA announced that Kane would not be appearing on the cover or participating in any promotional activities for the game in light of a criminal investigation he was involved in. Instead, the cover featured Toews alone.


NHL '99 was the first game in the series to feature fully licensed music from David Bowie.

Since then, each game has had soundtracks of licensed music known as EA Sports Trax, with selections of punk, alternative, and rock music, electronic music was later added to the mix in later games.

NHL 15 and NHL 16 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One use an original orchestral score instead for the menus.


In NHLPA '93 and NHL '94, Emmy award-winning sportscaster Ron Barr gives a pre-game scouting report prior to each game.

In the Sega Genesis version of NHL '95, KNBR radio sportscaster John Shrader replaced Ron Barr in that duty. Live play-by-play commentary was introduced in NHL 97.

Jim Hughson (currently play-by-play man for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and also one of Canada's best-known hockey announcers) provided the play-by-play for much of the series.

The last games in which he is one of the announcers are the PC and PS2 versions of NHL '09.

Bill Clement was the sole commentator in the Nintendo 64 version of NHL 99. Gary Thorne provided the play-by-play commentary in all Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions from NHL 07 through NHL 14.

With NHL 15 being the first game to be released on the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, NBC Sports commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick will provide the play-by-play commentary on all platforms.

NHL 15 will also be the first game to introduce an ice level analyst, with TSN analyst Ray Ferraro appearing in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions.

The color commentary has been provided by Daryl Reaugh (1998–99), Bill Clement (2000–01 and 2006–14 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), Don Taylor (2002–03), Craig Simpson (2004–09), and Eddie Olcyzk (2014–present).