Fans will have a chance to play as Hilary Knight, Marie-Phillip Poulin and more as they take control of women’s national teams in NHL 22.
As part of a new partnership with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), EA Sports’ NHL 22 will feature playable women’s teams for the first time ever, the company said Thursday.
Starting in early 2022, in time for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, gamers can finally play as superstars like the United States’ Hilary Knight and Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin. Those two teams competed in the gold medal match at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, with Team USA defeating Canada 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
“The introduction of women’s national teams to NHL 22 as part of the upcoming IIHF content will be an important moment for the franchise in its continued effort to reflect the diversity of the hockey community,” said Sean Ramjagsingh, EA Sports‘ vice president and general manager.
Also early next year, there will be updated jerseys and branding for the men’s national teams in the IIHF world championships and players will be able to compete in the prestigious World Juniors Championships as part of the game’s latest patch update.
“We are proud to feature playable women’s teams for the first time in NHL 22, alongside the rising stars on the World Juniors teams,” Ramjagsingh said.
Other NHL 22 updates debuting Thursday include downloadable roster sharing and Ultimate Team content migration, allowing users to import their favorite teams and rosters from previous generation consoles into the modern game.
Ten women’s teams will compete for gold in February on the women’s side. Group A will consist of Team USA, Canada, Finland, the Russian Olympic Committee and Switzerland, with all five automatically advancing to the quarterfinals. Three of the five Group B teams — Japan, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark and China — will join them. And now to get into the Olympic spirit, gamers can finally play with those teams for the first time.