For those who play EA Sport's NHL series, it's the time of year where you get a taste of what's to come in the next installation in the series. The demo for NHL 13 is out and so are the team and player rankings. Normally I have my expectations set low for the ratings the Devils receive. However, a team coming off a Stanley Cup Finals appearance should be ranked fairly high, even if they lost their captain in the off-season.
Everyone knows the rating system is not perfect, but it's always fun to see how the minds at EA Sports have decided how much a players' value can change over one season. Check out the ratings for the Devils players after the jump.
The picture above is the ratings for the 2013 New Jersey Devils. This isn't the lineup the Devils will use come October, it is just the display of the available players in order of descending skill scores.
The forwards' scores seem pretty accurate. The Devils have a few aging forwards (Elias, Zubrus, Boulton). Those players may be declining in skill, but the rest of the forwards should be increasing in skill or at least maintaining. I made a chart that compares NHL '12 ratings to NHL '13 and most of the players that carry over from last year are "getting worse".
The Devils have one player who ranks at least 90, Ilya Kovalchuk. In my eyes, Kovalchuk is closer to a 93, but I'm not employed by EA Sports, so I don't get a say in the matter. Other forwards who received an overall score of 90: Zach Parise, Claude Giroux, Jonathan Toews, and Henrik Sedin. Kovalchuk is better than all of the players on that list. So, who was the highest ranked player? I'll let you guess.
If you responded with cry baby or Cindy, you are correct. Crosby received a score of 95, only two points short of what Wayne Gretzky received on NHL '12. Ovechkin received a 93 and Stamkos got a 91. Anyways, back to the Devils players.
The disgrace in the scores lies with future hall of famer, Martin Brodeur. He is only ranked a paltry 82. I know Marty is old, I know he has had surgeries, but did you see him in the playoffs? He is more nimble than some olympic gymnasts. Proof:
The Devils other goalie, Johan Hedberg, is also underrated as he is ranked 73, which is 6 points lower than last year's NHL game.
The most improved player in the ratings was Adam Larsson who went up six points to a rating of 84. Is Larsson better than all the other Devils defensemen? That's a tough question to answer. I believe that if he got out all of his rookie mistake last year, then yes he is the best defenseman in red and black. I also disagree with most of the defensemen's ratings. I believe the Devils don't have a single defensemen that isn't at least an 82.
Overall, the Devils are rated 3.5/5 on offense, 4/5 on defense, and 4/5 at the goalie position.
If you want to compare rankings across different teams, I would suggest giving Puck Daddy a visit, they break down the Eastern and Western Conference teams.
What do you think about the Devils players ratings? Also, for my curiosity, if you play the NHL games, how often do you buy the newest versions? I usually go every three years or so. Thanks for reading!