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NHL 21 HUT Deep Dive

4836 posts EA Community Manager
edited October 2020
NHL® 21 introduces HUT Rush, a new mode that allows both HUT and non-HUT players to jump into a quick Online or Single-Player game of THREES, 3-on-3, or 5-on-5 gameplay. In HUT Rush, you’ll earn points to unlock HUT rewards not just by winning, but winning with style. Some Events will allow you to Draft a team, while others will require you to build a team from your HUT Collection. Expect to see a variety of different Event configurations through the year, with different Rules, Gameplay Styles, Lineup Sizes, Objectives, Draft Pools or Team Requirements, and more. Some weeks you may be asked to Draft a THREES lineup with Mascots and Icons, while others you may be asked to bring your best 3v3 Line from your HUT Collection.

Skill Points
In HUT Rush, you’ll earn Skill Point for a variety of actions within the mode. As you perform various actions in HUT Rush gameplay, such as shots, passes, hits, or dekes, you’ll earn Skill Points which display in the HUT Rush Skill Points Ticker, in the top right corner of any HUT Rush game.

When you score a goal in HUT Rush, the previous 3 actions you performed will generate a Combo, increasing your Skill Points value based on the complexity/difficulty of the actions. Actions will only stay in your history for 5 seconds (subject to change) though, so you’ll need to string together Combos quickly and skillfully in order to maximize your points.

In addition to earning Skill Points for actions in gameplay and scoring goals, you’ll also earn a bonus points value at the completion of each HUT Rush game depending on the outcome. This value is added into your Skill Points earned during the game, then multiplied by a Difficulty Multiplier. The Difficulty Multiplier is based on the difficulty selected for games vs. the CPU. The Difficulty Multiplier for Online games is higher than the hardest CPU difficulty (Superstar).

Lastly, each Event will have up to 5 Event Objectives. These Objectives will reward bonus Skill Points towards the current Reward Season when completed.

Reward Seasons and Events
HUT Rush consists of time-limited Events in 1 of the 3 HUT Rush game types, THREES, 3-on-3, or 5-on-5. You can expect to see 1-2 Events available to play anytime you enter HUT Rush. A Reward Season in HUT Rush consists of multiple Events, with your Skill Points from each Event all working towards the same Reward Season progress.

As you earn Skill Points you’ll progress through the Reward Season and unlock a reward at each Tier. These rewards are available immediately after reaching the Tier through your normal HUT Item Inbox or Unopened Packs.

Synergy Icons
In NHL 21 Synergies will be displayed by using Icons. Synergy Icons will be either Silver (for Player Synergies) or Gold (for Team Synergies). Synergy Icons on player items will appear transparent or empty until that particular synergy has been completed.

Synergy Stats

*Attributes subject to change

Player Bio
A new update to help with team building around synergies is the “Preview Synergy” function in the player bio screen. This will allow Users to preview potential synergy boosts to players before they have completed the synergy. Once a synergy is completed, the User will be able to see the boosted attributes from activating that synergy.

Synergy Glossary
The Synergy Glossary has now been updated to allow Users to search for a selected synergy within their Collection or the Auction House with a synergy filter already active. Users may also go directly to Edit Lines from the Synergy Glossary.

Auction House
The Auction House has been updated to display how many synergy points the User will require to complete their synergies while they are filtering by Synergy Style. This will limit the amount of times the User has to go back and forth between Edit Lines and the Auction House while building their team.

No More Contracts or Injuries
To reduce the game-to-game maintenance required to manage your team and let you get into games faster, there are no Contract or Injury items in HUT 21. Players can still be injured during gameplay, but these injuries will not carry over from game to game.

Contracts and Injuries have been replaced with a mix of other items in packs, such as Players or Customization items.

The only players in HUT 21 with limited contracts are Loan players, may have contracts limited to a number of games, or a specific time limit.

Master Icons
HUT 21 includes 3 versions of each Master Icon players, at Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels. These levels have different OVR ranges than regular items.

The OVR Ranges for Master Icons are:
  • Bronze: 84-89 OVR
  • Silver: 89-94 OVR
  • Gold: 94-99 OVR

The HUT 21 Season will start with Bronze Master Icons available through both Packs and Sets, with Silver and Gold Master Icons available later in the Season.



Price Ranges
Starting in NHL 21, we will be introducing a new feature to the Hockey Ultimate TeamTM Auction House called Price Ranges.

When Price Ranges are active, every tradeable HUT item (Players, Collectibles, Coaches, Customization items, Team items) have a minimum and maximum coin price they can be sold for on the Auction House.

We’ve also added quick shortcut buttons which allow you to quickly set the Starting Price or Buy Now Price to the minimum or maximum price when listing an item for auction.

What are the benefits of Price Ranges?

Price Ranges was implemented for the benefit of the HUT community with the following goals in mind:
  • Help players better understand the fair market value of the items they are listing and bidding on in the Auction House.
  • Restrict unfair coin transfers on the Auction House
  • Promote a safe and fair playing field for all players by allowing item values to be based on real market demand and without interference from illicit activities

Will I still be able to trade with items?

Yes, you will continue to be able to make trades with items. Price Ranges only impact bidding and listing of items in the Auction House.

How am I going to make coins through trading now?

Price Ranges will always be wide enough for the prices to grow organically with supply and demand. You can continue to earn coins through trading in the Auction House.

What about events? Will limited, high value event items have ranges that reflect their value?

Price Ranges are based on the real market value of items, and we will monitor and adjust the ranges based on market activity.

How do you determine the price ranges per item?

We review all the trade data in the Auction House to determine the price ranges.

Team Building Sets
We’re bringing back Team Building Sets for all NHL teams in NHL 21. You’ll be able to redeem all players rated 83 OVR and below on each NHL team for a special 85 OVR Reward Player, and for most teams, additional Pack Rewards as well. The 85 OVR Player you’re able to earn for each team is untradeable, but Pack Reward contents are generally tradeable.

Other Notes
Retry Option in HUT Solo Challenges
We’ve added an option in HUT 21 Solo Challenges to Retry from the Pause Menu or Post-Game screen. This option allows you to quickly re-start the Challenge right back to the opening Faceoff.

Removed Game Modes
With NHL 21 introducing HUT Rush, along with HUT Rivals being introduced in NHL 20, we’ve removed Online Seasons and Draft Champions from NHL 21. These decisions were made to streamline the Online experience in HUT and ensure matchmaking pools aren’t too diluted which would result in longer matchmaking times.

Firstly, we just want to start off by thanking everyone who participated in HUT 20. We worked really hard to make positive strides for the mode to keep it a competitive, balanced, and fun team building experience. Player feedback throughout the year was a huge part of both helping us improve during the HUT 20 year, as well as focus in on change and improvements we look to make for HUT 21.

Goals for NHL 21
Based on discussions with the community, and our gamechangers, there were a couple of clear goals for us that we really wanted to try and focus on and address going into NHL 21; the first is re-examining our progression system (especially as it relates to its effects on gameplay throughout the year), and secondly; trying to find ways to bring more variety to event designs and creative executions.

Player Progression (Skaters)
We felt NHL 20’s progression was improved over NHL 19 by offering a more consistent, steady, and stable OVR progression - but we felt there was more work to be done in terms of how our increasing attributes also affected gameplay as we progressed through the year and the influence this had on team building and how differentiated player items felt from each other. The most notable attribute(s) that came up for discussion were speed and size.

So aside from making some changes to how we’ve tuned base items, we’ll be taking a new approach with upgrades. First off we’re making some changes to base item tuning so they should start off with slightly lower speed ratings, and we’re also changing the rate at which speed and acceleration increases on upgrading items.

As Players receive a +1 upgrade, their speed/acceleration will only increase +0.5 Points.

Below is an example of how a progression could look for a larger stay at home defenceman like Zdeno Chara, compared to a faster player like Connor McDavid.

We think the combination of the lower starting point, and slower rate of increase will help stabilize speed ratings for a much greater period of time, help create and maintain a speed gap between players who should be fast, and players who should be slower. The goal of this is to help make sure Player Items can maintain a feeling of being differentiated from each other, and contribute to a more interesting team building experience.

Player Progression (Goalies)
There’s been a lot of discussion on goalies throughout the past number of years, and a lot of said discussion has revolved around a goalie’s height, and aggression. Similar to HUT 20, Aggression will be considered a “Tendency” and not an “Attribute” and therefore will not increase on progressively higher OVR items. We’re also planning some changes on how we take into account a goalie’s height into his attributes - as the size advantage of a goalie has been known to a distinct advantage to a point where the same few taller goalies have become the only items to chase every year.

In order to help better balance this, we’re building in Attribute Caps for goalies based on their height as we progress them throughout the year. There will be a very few select exceptions to this rule (with some Master Icons), but we feel this will really help generate some interesting discussions around the best goalies in the game as we progress throughout the year.

Lit vs Grit
Much like NHL 20, we want to make sure we’re delivering a combination of new events, as well as trying to deliver on favourite themes from years past. It’s important to us that your HUT experience feels fresh in a new season, and with that we’re very excited to announce a brand new event for the launch of NHL 21: Lit vs Grit.

This event is about getting into that GM mindset early on, and trying to decide the identity of your team, do you build it with the flash and skill of today’s young players, or the grizzled veterans that you know you’ll need for those big games. Check out the first Master Items below:

Master Items
Speaking of Master Items, we also wanted to try and bring something new to the table with them this year. For most events, we will actually have two versions of every Master Item; a standard version and an elite version that will be higher rated. But the acquisition and upgrade methods for these are something we’re planning on changing and shifting throughout the year to help contribute to making each event more unique.

TOTW & Squad Battles
One other change this year is that we’re retiring the traditional Challenge TOTW mode, and will be integrating TOTW into Squad Battles this year. We hope this can make challenging the Team of the Week more meaningful and enjoyable as you’ll be able to make Squad Battles progress with it. This means that Squad Battles schedules will now run Wednesday to Wednesday each week to line up with our TOTW content releases.

European and Junior Players
Last year we felt we made some strides to better integrate European league players and Juniors into HUT. Our goal with the mode is still to make sure we’re best reflecting everything going on in the hockey world. We feel it’s important to re-state our commitment to this in NHL 21 so that whether you’re a hockey fan in Kitchener, Halifax, Saskatoon, Gothenburg, Turku, Munich, Vienna, or Bern that you know we care deeply about giving you the chance to build a team with your favourite players and local heroes.

We have over 400 Icons in the game (not including the Master Icons), and we want to announce our plans to have all of them available in packs at the launch of the game. Essentially all Icons will have a “Base” item, but they will still be more rare than current NHL Players. We feel this gives players an opportunity early on to acquire some of their favourite NHL’ers of years past without needing to wait for a content release later in the year. We’re hoping some players will be excited about the return of some NHL greats to the Icon group this year such as Jarome Iginla, Eric Lindros, John Leclair, and Martin Brodeur.

Post edited by EA_Blueberry on


  • Looks great and I can't wait to get started! Great we gets some new icons, and hope there are a few more (hoping for Saku Koivu).

    I'm a bit apprehensive about the price ranges, but seems community feedback has been really taken into consideration regarding the speed/size meta and goalie meta.

    Thanks guys!
  • Sega82mega
    4308 posts Member
    edited October 2020
    Okeeey, me like:

    it's gonna be alot smoother to get through the menus, alot less flipping back and forth.

    Contracts and injury cards is no longer a problem, may you rest in peace.

    But Injuries still in the game, good!

    Action house, probably going to be more realistic, overall, easier to maneuver your rampaging on the stock market.

    Goalies height will take account into his attributes. Also really good!

    The team-building aspect seem to get much more importen and interesting.

    save the best bit - stabilize speed ratings - for last! Great addition, and will probebly mean alot, both for the gameplay and to keep life to HUT much longer.

    Something I do miss, is a 'do or die' mode in HUT, if you win, move on to next level, if you loose, you go home with nothing. To bring real excitement to the game. But I guess you cant have it all.

    Looking forward to grit my team!
  • Can we get answers about playing coop with friends without seasons in HUT guys? Don't forget many of us like to build a team with a friend in HUT.
  • Love the changes to Price Range and also limitations of some stats
  • PadrinoIV wrote: »
    Can we get answers about playing coop with friends without seasons in HUT guys? Don't forget many of us like to build a team with a friend in HUT.

    I've never played HUT but plan on giving it a try this year. I figured seasons was likely the mode everyone played, kinda surprised they're taking that out. Maybe I'm confusing seasons with some other mode though.. is it the mode that moves you between divisions? Was it not liked as much?
  • PadrinoIV wrote: »
    Can we get answers about playing coop with friends without seasons in HUT guys? Don't forget many of us like to build a team with a friend in HUT.

    I've never played HUT but plan on giving it a try this year. I figured seasons was likely the mode everyone played, kinda surprised they're taking that out. Maybe I'm confusing seasons with some other mode though.. is it the mode that moves you between divisions? Was it not liked as much?

    I believe Rivals pretty much became the normal and the whole thing with divisions became an afterthought. As for co-op I dunno if it will exist in the competitive HUT areas.
  • Other than the silly HUT Rush mode, mostly good news...

    A few unanswered questions:

    1. Will there be any home games in Squad Battles or is it still road games only?
    2. Is the scoring in Squad Battles still dependent on your opponents overall rating? If so, did you fix the problem of backup goalies having way too much affect on overall, or can people still screw us out of points by putting a bronze backup on their uber-team?
    3. Is the scoring in Rivals the same?
    4. Is matchmaking for Rivals the same? Specifically do we still have to cancel the search after 20 seconds to get a fair matchup?
    5. Do we still have to play 5 qualifying matches at the start before entering Rivals? If so, does it still just put everyone in D5 regardless of their results? If so what is the point of "qualifying" if it means nothing?
    6. Is it still a massive grind to qualify for Champions if you're not in D1 or D2 of Rivals?
    7. Do collectables work basically the same in terms of gold collectables being used towards master items and icon collectables towards master icons?
  • Rush will be a no go for me. It is dependant on dekes and I still can't pull those off. I'll play enough to fulfil any objectives but don't see me playing too much in Rush.

    Re: 1; I think it is clear that Squads will again be road team only and that is a major disapointment. Maybe EA can give us something in a future update but for now it is like last season.

    Re: 7; It looks like this will be the same too and I'll work my plan from last season where I emphasised Icons early in the season saving up Golds for after the new year.

    I hope the HUT Challenge Daily Objective is not 3 games when the game goes live. I guess it was ok for the 10 Hour trial but I don't want to have to play 3 Challenges to complete that objective unless they are 1 minute periods.

    I like how we can now see the Synergy effecting the ratings, long overdue.

    I won't miss the Draft mode and think ToW is better suited for Squads. Real good moves there!

    No contracts and healing also a positive but I'm going to miss those cheap items in the House to fulfil those objectives ;-)
  • How come the CPU never gets tired? Same line on for over a minute and their stamina is infinite.
  • HUT mode PRO is impossible
  • Thank you EA for adjusting the HUT Challenges daily objective!!!

    I see Steve Yzerman's # in Rush is 12...is that true elsewhere? Has anyone landed The Captain's icon in HUT?

    I noticed he was showing as the Trottier card during Free Play too.

    Sounds like some anti Red Wing bias there... ;-)
  • FloundinatorQQ
    127 posts Member
    edited October 2020
    The fact that the cross crease is super exploited, since no matter what setting I put them on, the d men are constantly leaving odd man rushes. Thats all people use to score is super annoying. I thought the defensive ai got an improvement...? Seems like the same ai from 20... simply bad..
  • The CPU is over powered yet again. Just played lit vs grit challenge 5/10 on pro. The CPU wouldn't let me breathe. I have an 88 rated team with 3 synergies active all gold players 80+++ Why was this so tough to do on PRO, and I mean Battletoads NES hard. How the heck does the CPU never make a mistake or get tired, and they take the puck from you so fast and easy. The user AI is horrible and its just the most god awful display I've ever witnessed. They are never in position as per your strategies and just skate around aimlessly at times. I just can't believe a EA paid employees to polish the turd that is the NHL series for yet another year.
  • Played the next challenge on PRO again, and now its like playing on Rookie. This is so messed up.
  • These objectives are just painful. For such a grind heavy game this is just nonsense.
  • EA_Blueberry
    4836 posts EA Community Manager
    These objectives are just painful. For such a grind heavy game this is just nonsense.

    What exactly is painful about it? Maybe we can give some advice to make it an easier time for you next go around.
  • "Removed Game Modes
    With NHL 21 introducing HUT Rush, along with HUT Rivals being introduced in NHL 20, we’ve removed Online Seasons and Draft Champions from NHL 21. These decisions were made to streamline the Online experience in HUT and ensure matchmaking pools aren’t too diluted which would result in longer matchmaking times."

    In this case streamlining the online experience meant removing the online experience, at least for me and my friends. I'm seriously considering going back to my local shop and make a fool of myself trying to return a preordered game I was dying to play.

    Without co-op team building and online co-op there is no content in HUT or even in NHL21 all together, I stated elsewhere that this feels like NHL 19.5 which is such a shame because EA added SO many new nice things, but replaced the tried and true good modes with silly quickplay modes. And no, HUT Rush isn't hockey, and is for a much much younger audience with zero to none attention span.

    Building a HUT team with a friend is the best thing you can do, and it seems like this year it's just a wasted 60 bucks.
  • I think the game is the worst it’s ever been in the last 10 years I can’t understand how you guys had extra time to make the game but still pop this piece of trash out. I remember seeing in the trailer for this game that goalies got improvements this year which I have to ask what improvements they still let in the same trash shots can’t track the puck plus I’ve never seen a goalie at the nhl level let 4 goals in on 10 shots.

    AI according to the trailer we’re suppose to be smarter and take open space in the offensive zone which doesn’t happen. The amount of times I get around a defender go to make a cross crease pass and my AI decides to go behind the net instead but is never there when I want him there is ridiculous. Plus when you pass the puck to the point the AI decides instead of staying there for a pass back option it decides it’s going to come stand beside you on the point is beyond dumb. That’s not even talking about the defensive zone where your weak side D man just loses his guy for easy one timers or takes bad position in front of the net just doesn’t make sense.

    Finally can we make pass interceptions actually work because I’ll be filling the lane facing the puck and they just pass through me like I’m not even there or he’ll grab it through me and shoot. It really isn’t fair when you can’t intercept pucks that are passed to you.
  • I dont know if you follow thoose 'Daily HUT Content' on reddit.. But I have to say, that man coolin is pretty entertaining, fun way to delivere the daily news.

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