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NHL 22 Wishlist And Constructive Criticism of 21

1 posts New member
Hey guys, I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts on how the game could be improved. I strictly play franchise mode vs the cpu so my input is solely focused on that. However I'd like to have a discussion on the game as a whole. Please only post constructive feedback!!


  • jhauck05
    1 posts New member
    1. The NHL draft should be the cornerstone experience of the mode. The draft is where teams' fates can be determined for decades following. Make the draft lottery an in-game event instead of just showing us the results. Tell us what each eligible team's odds are to win. Show the ecstatic fan and front offices of winners and the crushing defeat of losers.

    2. Continuing with the draft, the entire system needs overhauled. Even on the most difficult trade settings, it's not hard to trade for the #1 pick even in a year with a franchise potential player. This type of trading just shouldn't be possible. In what world would the Penguins have traded the Crosby pick? The Oilers trading the McDavid pick? These are franchise altering players and the difference between them and any other pick/player should be weighted as such. If players WANT to have the ability to trade into these spots, then the possibility should be included in lower trade difficulty settings.

    3. In addition to properly valued draft trading, the overalls of drafted players, potential, and growth need to be rehauled. In years past, it was possible to draft players in the low to mid-80s, meaning these players are truly NHL ready. In NHL 21 I haven't seen this in any way. Even the best players at the top of the draft rarely are higher than mid 70s, while almost every player outside of the top picks are years away. This needs to change to allow for more true to life draft results. Sidney Crosby was well over a PPG player on a bad team in his rookie year. That's the kind of player that straight out of the draft should be high 80s at least. Because of this, there's no tradeoff when scouting or drafting players. If player overalls are always the same for their projected round, why would the user ever draft based on anything but potential? Drafting and scouting could be made much more interesting by giving the user hard decisions to make. Should you choose the player who's projected to be top-9 ready with a decent chance at developing top-6 potential or the player who needs additional junior league time with a low chance of developing true 1st line talent?

    4. Now onto development - why in the world is player development not influenced by playing time, the level of the competition, injuries and the results that they see. Accounting for these things would allow much more true to life growth at all levels. High end prospects could settle in as botto of the roster players or flame out completely due to poor performance, being rushed and injuries. This would also make roster management more interesting and engaging at all levels when having to account for giving players the necessary playing time to let them grow. If I'm a borderline competitive team, do I give my lower overall but high upside player the time in the top 6 he needs to develop his game or do I play the higher overall vet that's most likely to give me the best results? Do I let the coach decide or do I force my coach to do what I want? How will they respond to the decision? How will my players respond? Well in NHL 21 none of that matters at all. Your young scrub can become the stud he was meant to be even while riding the pine, the coach can be overruled in his lineup every game of the season and take it like the **** he is and the players are too stupid to understand the makeup of the team, the realistic expectations of the team and how these decisions can affect them. These are the real life scenarios that GMs, coaches and players experience every day.

    5. Continuing with injuries, why are there not season ending injuries? Why are there not slight injuries that players can play through that negatively affect their stats without making them completely useless? When one of my players is returning from injury, why would I ever not choose to let them sit until they're completely healed? These are professional athletes. They're warriors. Make injuries more dynamic and realistic. Players play through pain every game and it can affect different aspects of their play. Hand, wrist, arm injuries can affect shooting. Leg, ankle and foot injuries can affect skating. Players that are playing hurt may be less aggressive than they normally would be with hits, stay out of shooting lanes or avoid the net front to protect themselves. These things can happen in-game from a painful blocked shot or over the entire course of a season in dealing with a lingering issue. The user could choose to adjust playing time for these players in-game, make tough roster decisions like whether to place a player on IR or even opt for a season ending surgery that could prevent the injury from worsening. Injuries could even have career altering effects. Knee injuries that forever change a players skating, shoulder injuries that sap a players shooting or worst of all players being forced to retire from catastrophic injuries or repeated concussions. These are all things that create roster turnover on teams and in the league and could make being a GM much more interesting than simply drafting the right players and turning your team into a perennial contender.

    6. Before we begin talking about gameplay, let's talk about the things that do (or should) affect gameplay the most. The first thing that needs reworked IMO is player attributes. The current model is that good players are good at everything and maybe slightly better at one thing while worse players are worse at everything. This couldn't be further from reality. Connor McDavid has dynamic skating and incredible puck control combined with the offensive awareness to make plays at full speed that no other player in the league can, but there are probably several players with better straight line speed. Currently there is no attribute that acts as a modifier for being at full speed. Why? (Why are there no attributes for backchecking or forechecking? Not every player backchecks as skillfully as Mark Stone and not every player pursues the puck as hard as Kotkaniemi.) Being able to make high skilled plays at breakneck speeds are often what make a player a truly great offensive talent instead of say, Michael Grabner. Instead, the EA model punishes all players the same while skating vs gliding. McDavid is also fairly below average defensively, mostly choosing to play a bit higher in the defensive zone and readying himself to take off at any moment. But why isn't this reflected in his attribute overalls and player tendencies (what are those, EA?) Phil Kessel is a perfect example of this. As a Penguins fan, I was treated to a few years of watching Kessel fly down the strong side wing and snipe far side missiles. I was also able to laugh hysterically any time he attempted a slapshot with the pool noodle for a stick he uses (believe in the years I watched him he attempted roughly five). Yet play against him in this game and you'll watch him rip slap shots just like any other player. Why is this? MAKE PLAYERS PLAY LIKE THEY DO IN REAL LIFE!! In real life, most of the greatest players in the league have a few truly elite talents that make them so deadly and so different than the rest, but still have their flaws. Some players have one elite talent but many flaws, others are fairly average all around without any glaring weaknesses. This is what creates so much variety in real life but is so lacking in this game. (For those of you who may be interested in seeing data or representations of how truly different players can be, I'd suggest you check out Bryce Chevallier on Twitter - https://twitter.com/FauxCentre he does excellent breakdowns of player tendencies and skills relative to the league. I think EA could drastically improve their player representation by aligning their attribute overalls with this kind of analysis.) Lastly, for the love of God why are all defenseman punished with their shooting accuracy attributes? There's no clearer indication of how lazily these are thrown together than trying to convince us that players like John Carlson, Roman Josi, etc have worse accuracy than your average fourth line player. Ridiculous. Shooting should naturally be less accurate the further away from the net you are combined with your accuracy stat, not artificially lowered for certain players BECAUSE they typically are further away.

    7. Now that we've laid the basis for more accurate player representation, let's talk about how these attributes could be combined with player tendencies and changes to the physics of the game to best allow the game to resemble real life and for players' actual talents to shine, while still being fun and require skill . The first and most important thing the NHL devs could realize is that hockey is a game of mistakes and chance. While in real life, passes go awry off wayward sticks, players stumble and fall, find themselves in bad or high pressure positions and make rushed plays that lead to turnovers, penalties, etc. In NHL 21, these things are either non-existent or minimized to strictly user-error. Instead, the game looks to reward you for patiently cycling in the offensive zone for huge stretches of time, regardless of who's on the ice (watch the CPU play and a 4th line of face punchers plays exactly the same as Boston's perfection line) until a player is open for the cross crease one timer. Almost every one of these sequences will include players making no-look, perfectly accurate passes, players skating backwards to receive or retrieve pucks they realistically would have no business even knowing were there, and a goal scorer being inexplicably left alone as they take a few steps away from a player looking directly at them but not reacting in any way. So, let's break this down and figure out what's wrong the picture I'm painting that no doubt any chel player has watched several times a game. For one, this doesn't resemble real hockey in any way. Even the most highly skilled power play groups, with the opposing team down a man, don't execute close to as effectively as the worst players in this game can at even strength. NHL players do not seemlessly make and receive every pass. Passing accuracy and knowing how much force to put on a pass is a skill. Pass reception is a skill. The awareness to anticipate passes to put yourself in a good position to receive a pass is a skill. Watch players like Crosby and McDavid and you'll see that they almost never have a pass come their way that they aren't ready for. These players are the EXCEPTION. NOT the rule! These are some of the things that make them so incredible! This type of offensive execution, puck reception, passing and puck control should be reserved for the best of the best offensive playmakers and make having them on the ice that much more exciting. Watch a real NHL game and you'll find these players are the very few who can execute these kinds of things even fairly consistently. Even the Marios and the Gretzskys of the game miss passes, have pucks go off their sticks and miss the net on shots. And it happens fairly often! But they have the skills necessary to attempt and to make incredible plays. Bottom line players don't dump and chase and crash the net because their coach just arbitrarily decides they should. It's because they lack the offensive skills to consistently and effectively play the same way that elite offensive players do. This doesn't mean that using these kinds of players can't or shouldn't still be fun, however. If we were given a more robust system for board battles and defensive tools, these players could still be made to be used in a high-skill way (from the player perspective) to be used effectively. A combination of fine-tuned body positioning, stick placement or stick actions like stick slashes, poke checks, stick lifts, tie-ups, and play recognition/awareness could make forechecking aggressive, useful and most importantly fun. Ideally, these players could be used strategically depending on what skills they excel at. Maybe a combination of effective forecheckers or defensive players could be used to attempt to grind down top lines in their own zone or disrupt play in the neutral zone and suppress shots against to free up your top line to be used against lower skill players (if the devs would finally implement the home team last change after 20+ years and tell us who's on the ice instead of just what line).

    8. In my opinion the most important change to the physics they could implement would be figuring out how momentum works. Anyone who's played against the CPU has no doubt poke checked their puck carrier over and over, only to have their player stop on a dime, reach back to reacquire the puck and continue skating at the same speed they were. This is absurd. Yes, players can stop on a dime. But when they do, it's either because they're already intending to do it, or in response to something that causes them to do it. When it's in response to something, usually that stop is a bit slower, a bit less controlled and most likely delayed from the event that caused it. They also can't immediately continue skating at the same speed after just having made a hard stop. Why can't the CPU AI be made to try to protect the puck more skillfully or chip the puck to an area when a defender commits to them? This is how real life hockey works. A player doesn't just skate in a straight line getting poke checked up the ice or make some absurd pass back to their defenseman without ever looking back to even know they're there. Players slow their pace down to wait for a teammate to pass to, use their skating and puck control to try to get around players or look to chip the puck past attacking players into an open area that a teammate can get to. Making player momentum and actions more true to life would create a much more satisfying risk/reward style of play for the both the attacker and the defender. If you're the attacker and you see a defenseman challenging you from a good angle, do you have the skill to try to make them miss and create open space for yourself while risking being separated from the puck in a bad spot on the ice? The awareness of the player of who's on the ice and who they're controlling is going to be important in making the right play. The same goes for defending, do you choose to close the gap quickly and aggressively with your stick, risking missing a poke check and making yourself flat footed? Do you maintain your gap and risk the player slowing their pace to allow for a player with more speed to push past you and put you in a tough position or do you look to take the body to try to force the puck up the ice but risk whiffing? These are the split second plays that happen thousands of times a game and allow for odd man rushes, breakaways, etc. As the gameplay currently stands, playing offense is almost entirely cycling in the offensive zone as the computer defense doesn't take the risks necessary and your AI teammates don't play aggressively enough and lack the ability to generate breakaways and odd-man rushes. Playing defense is almost entirely playing conservative slot coverage and waiting to intercept AI centering passes. The game lacks dynamic actions and randomness that lead to the opportunities for creativity and a sense of excitement. As it stands, the gameplay feels incredibly scripted and stale.

    9. Lastly, to add more skill to the game, the passing mechanic needs adjusted. Players should be penalized for attempting dangerous, no look passes. Forwards aren't rushing up the ice and blindly throwing a fastball back to their defence when they feel pressure. Defenseman aren't intercepting passes behind their body with one hand on their stick while not looking. Fixing this on both sides would limit the number of completed passes to the slot by making it more difficult for the passer while at the same time allowing more skill to be involved in successfully making this kind of pass (positioning the passer where he can "see" the target, recognizing a defenseman not facing the passing lane and precise passing through legs/sticks). Once cross crease passes become harder to make, goalies can be tuned to allow a wider variety of goals like bad angle snipes from elite shooters, five hole goals, etc and both the player and cpu are now incentivized to shoot the puck more. This could drastically help improve shot totals and save percentage to more realistic numbers than having the kind of 8 shot - 5 goals allowed games vs the cpu that so many players complain about.
  • Beauts90
    141 posts Member
    Although I have already given up on this year’s game as I felt it was an unfinished step backwards, I am a sucker for a franchise mode improvement discussion. I have posted most of my thoughts on various topics throughout the year, but I really enjoyed your list and it aligns with a few of my wants so I will give it my thoughts as well.
    1. I’m not a huge fan of cutscenes myself but wouldn’t oppose making the events of the draft feel more important.
    2. I think they have done a much better job with the value of the top picks the last couple of years but agree it should be more. This includes all top 10 picks which rarely move in real life and I find after pick #3 it is very easy to acquire one even with an elite prospect projected to be there. I think the value of the pick should also be based on the strength of the pick so a franchise potential 1st overall has a higher value than an elite one that may not be a clear-cut number one selection. I’ve said before trade blocks should be tiered and have the ability to put certain players or picks on an untouchable list.
    3. This is a great idea and something I would love to see more of. Just to add to this, I want to see prospects have a floor and ceiling to go with potential. Players with a smaller range floor to ceiling would be considered safer picks while a broad range could lead to a potential steal or even bust.
    4. I am also a big fan of this idea for developing players. I made a post awhile back on how I would want prospect development to work and its very similar to your suggestion. You would have to consistently monitor your players progression and adjust where they fit in the lineup accordingly. This could mean moving them down in the lineup or even back to the minors if needed. I think players growth should max out if not playing in the NHL (AHL or other) as right now it’s too easy to leave players in the AHL or unsigned and they continue to grow.
    5. Good idea for injuries, I would like to see this. We should be given the option to select max injury length and have the ability to select if we want career and/or season ending injuries on or leave it as is.
    6. I completely agree with your assessment of player attributes and while we are at it, please make everyone’s player type based on their actual attributes and not something that seems mostly random.
    7. Your gameplay suggestions are spot on as well and would all be a big upgrade to what we have now. I am curious if you ever play around with the sliders to try and achieve more realistic gameplay?
  • There’s only 2 things I want for NHL 22 and all NHL games moving forward.

    1. The option to pull either goalie in practice mode.

    All the sliders are there for how many offensive and defensive players you want on the ice. But what if you just want to shoot on an empty net or pass the puck back to your goalie and go for goalie goals. You can still do that but it would be more enjoyable not trying countless times.

    2. The option to play without helmet in BAP
  • NYRfan88
    2 posts New member
    1.) Game Suspensions for illegal hits/ bad penalties.
    2.) New cup celebration
    3.) Goalies can get hurt during user play. (mainly Be a Pro and Franchise Modes.)
    4.) Coaches yelling or talking to the referees when there is a bad call or disagreement.
    5.) Season and Career ending injuries. (there can be an off or on button for player choice)
    6.) Playable All Star Game in Franchise and Be a Pro modes.
    7.) Be able to retire at what ever age you want to in Be a Pro.
    8.) Add NCAA playoff/ Pre-draft for College players in Be a Pro and Franchise modes.
    9.) Bring Back outdoor games and Jerseys in Franchise and Be a Pro modes.
    10.) Be able to Customize your team jerseys each off season in all modes.
    11.) In Be a Pro Mode when you request a trade maybe the management can ask why and have a couple weeks to fix the problem or just trade you if they choose to not fix or can't fix the problem.
    12.) Have a lot more teams offer you contracts in Be a Pro. I am the Goals and Points leader every season and I only get two offers? (One being the team I am already on.)
    13.) Being able to let my Agent know what price tag I'm looking for on incoming offers in Be a Pro.
    14.) Be able to do multi-team trade deals in Franchise Mode.
    15.) Have Presidents and Stanley Cup Banner celebrations during the home opener in all modes.
  • I would like more statistics, like shots on goal records in one game, goals records by in one game, stops records in one game, in the franchise mode.
  • Also what about the option to save a game even if not completed, I sometimes loose the connection & have to restart a game, it is also fustrating in franchise mode during clash mode to loose the game 3-0 because the connection was lost, it should not happen, we should only have to restart the game instead. It also keeps me from taking a chance to play periods longer then 4 minutes.
  • I keep getting new ideas, altough it may never happen again what about the possibility to adjust the numbers of game in a season in franchise or season mode.
    Also would it possible to make player team changes as the seasons goes in either franchise or season to correspond with real life nhl (it could be an automatic thing too).
    Maybe I did not look enough but did we loose the all star team in nhl21 that was available in nhl20 ?
    I think it was suggested before but it would be nice if the value of a player would increase has his performance increases, it might be a new mode where all players start at a same level & increase with its performance, also the monetary value for resigning would increase according to its performance, adjustable salary cap by the user might also be an option.
  • What about dream team in other leagues then NHL, or the possibility of having more then one dream team per user ?
  • I remember an 1990 or so edition where I could build a complete team out of created players, I had so much fun doing so I could play with my father, uncle, cousin in my team. Ok it is not realistic but it was fun anyways. If not a full team it would be fun to have more then one player in the team either in become a pro or season mode, I understand it would be too much to ask for it in the dream team or HUT tought.
  • It would also be fun to have the number of goals scored since the player joined the dream team indicated or announced like in franchise or season mode like Crosby its 49th goal etc.
  • For nhl22 fix the duplicate of player number in the dream team & also take out retired jersey for the team you represent example number 10 or 9 for the Canadiens.
  • EA_Aljo
    3193 posts EA Community Manager
    I remember an 1990 or so edition where I could build a complete team out of created players, I had so much fun doing so I could play with my father, uncle, cousin in my team. Ok it is not realistic but it was fun anyways. If not a full team it would be fun to have more then one player in the team either in become a pro or season mode, I understand it would be too much to ask for it in the dream team or HUT tought.

    You can currently create your own team for offline modes. This is done in the Rosters section of the game.
  • Thanks , I will have to check I know I can create a team but I did not know I could use my created players tought I had to stick with existing players.
  • French commentators would be nice too. Yes I am bilingual.
  • EA_Aljo
    3193 posts EA Community Manager
    Thanks , I will have to check I know I can create a team but I did not know I could use my created players tought I had to stick with existing players.

    You can also create your own players as well so you should be good for getting your family back in the game :smile:
  • > @EA_Aljo said:
    > You can also create your own players as well so you should be good for getting your family back in the game :smile:

    Not sure it is worh the time, it takes about ten minutes to create a player, it would be nice to be able to use a current league player & change the name on the information section in one of the mode for 2022.
  • EA_Aljo
    3193 posts EA Community Manager
    > @EA_Aljo said:
    > You can also create your own players as well so you should be good for getting your family back in the game :smile:

    Not sure it is worh the time, it takes about ten minutes to create a player, it would be nice to be able to use a current league player & change the name on the information section in one of the mode for 2022.

    You can already do that. Just pick any player and edit what you like. Just go to Rosters > Edit Player.
  • I can't find anywhere to change the name, there is a few place you can change other things but not the player's name.
  • EA_Aljo
    3193 posts EA Community Manager
    edited August 23
    I can't find anywhere to change the name, there is a few place you can change other things but not the player's name.

    Apologies for the late response. What happens when you go to Rosters > Edit player and try to edit a player? You can also create a custom roster and edit players that way.
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