The next face of the NHL

In the midst of the playoffs eight iconic NHL and world cup hockey players are competing to be chosen as the EA Sports cover athlete for 2017, and the new “face of the NHL”. There will be three rounds of voting:

April 26th- May 2nd (VOTE NOW at )

May 3rd- May 9th

May 10th- May 16th

The winner will be revealed at the NHL awards in Las Vegas. Make sure to vote for your favorite in all three rounds and support them on twitter using their hashtag (stated below) Continue reading to learn more about the candidates:

Joe Pavelski  #NHL17Pavelski


Team: San Jose Sharks, United States National Team

Born: Wisconsin, USA

Position: Center

About: Pavelski has played for the Sharks since he was drafted in 2007. He is one of eleven players in Sharks history to score a goal during his first game. In 2014 he had a career high season including 41 goals and 79 points, including his 400th career point. In 2015 he was named the team’s captain. He played on the US national team in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

Anze Kopitar #NHL17Kopitar


Team: Los Angeles Kings, Slovenia men’s national team

Born: Jesenice, Slovenia

Position: Center

About: Kopitar started his career in Slovenia and went on to play for Sweden (leading the league in scoring) when the Slovenian team did not pose enough of a challenge. He debuted in the US on the Kings in 2006, with whom he has won 2 Stanley Cups. Additionally he has received many awards including: NHL All-star, two time most popular player, and four time best defensive player.

Aleksander Barkov #NHL17Barkov


Team: Florida Panthers, Finland National Team

Born: Tampere, Finland

Position: Center

About: The son of a former Russian hockey player, Barkov started his career in SM-liiga, a Finnish hockey league. In 2013 he signed with the Florida Panthers as the second overall draft pick, where he became the youngest player to score a goal since 1967 at 18 years 31 days old. While on the Finish national hockey team they won a bronze metal at the 2014 Olympics.

Jamie Benn #NHL17Benn


Team: Dallas Stars, Canadian National Team

Born: Victoria, Canada

Position: Left wing

About: After playing for junior Canadian leagues, Benn was drafted to the Dallas Stars in 2009. His older brother, Jordie Benn, also played for the Dallas Stars. In 2013 he was named the captain of the Stars, and in 2015 with 87 points he won the Art Ross Trophy. Additionally, the Canadian National Team won the gold metal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics with the help of Benn.

Connor McDavid #NHL17McDavid


Team: Edmonton Oilers, Canadian National Team

Born: Richmond Hill, Canada

Position: Center

About: In 2011, McDavid was named player of the year for the Toronto Hockey League with 79 goals and 130 assists. He was then classified as an “exceptional player” and permitted to play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) one year before he was technically eligible (the third player in history to do this). In 2012 he was the first round draft pick for the Erie Otters in the OHL. He was named the top North American prospect for the 2015 draft and was ultimately the first round draft pick for the Oilers. He missed 37 games in 2015-2016 season because of a broken clavicle, but returned to playing this February. He has many awards including: NHL rookie of the year, Red Tilson Trophy for most outstanding player in 2015, and William Hanley Trophy for most sportsmanlike player in 2014.

Jakub Voracek #NHL17Voracek


Team: Philadelphia Flyers, Czech Men’s National Team

Born: Kladno, Czech Republic

Position: Right Wing

About: In 2006 Voracek was drafted first overall into the Canadian Hockey League where he played two years to begin his career. In 2007 he was drafted 7th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets where he debuted in the US. In 2009 he helped the Blue Jackets to make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In 2011 he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. During the 2012-2013 lockout he returned to play in the Czech Republic, and came back to the NHL the following season to score his first hat trick. In 2010 his team won IIHF Championship, taking gold. Additionally, he made the NHL all-star team in 2015, and has won multiple awards during his time on the Flyers.

Vladamir Tarasenko #NHL17Tarasenko


Team: St. Louis Blues, Russian National Team

Born: Yaroslavl, Russia

Position: Right Wing

About: Tarasenko began his career in 2008 playing for the senior team in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia. His father was also a scoring champion of the Russian National League. He played for the Russian Junior Team 3 times winning a silver metal in 2009 and leading them to gold as the captain in 2010. In 2012 after being traded to SKA Saint Petersburg in Russia, Tarasenko decided to go through the NHL draft but returned to Russia when the lockout began. He began his US career playing for the St. Louis Blues where he was named Rookie of the Month for January, and was also an NHL all-star in 2015 and 2016.

Victor Hedman  #NHL17Hedman


Team: Tampa Bay Lightning, Sweden National Team

Born: Örnsköldsvik, Sweden

Position: Defense

About: Hedman began his professional career with the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in 2006 at the age of 16. In 2009 he was ranked first overall as a draft-eligible skater by international scouts, and was also nominated as Rookie of the Year. In 2009 he was drafted to the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia, but was also drafted second overall to the Tampa Bay Lightening in the NHL. He was considered the top European player in the 2009 draft. In 2014 he started a hockey school in his hometown, where the spots sold out within two hours. Awards include: IIHF World all-star team in 2007 and 2008, and Swedish bronze metal in the 2010 IH World Championship.


So, who’s it going to be?


Go to to vote for your favorite now. Make sure your favorite player or team is represented!


Written by: Emily Podnieks (Group 23)




Author: sportswille

Reformed ad agency guy. Sac Kings, PGA Tour, Pebble Beach, Aspen yielded fascination with sports business. Now teach at my alma mater, University of Texas Austin: Integrated Marketing, Social Media, Business and Law and Sports Audiences. 40 year streak of single digit handicap under severe pressure.

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