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NHL 24 release date, cover athlete, and early access predictions

NHL 23 Gameplay
Olivier Dumont Updated on by

When is the release date for NHL 24? The 2023 NHL season has been an extraordinary one, filled with loads of exciting, intense action that has carried into the playoffs. Adding to the fun for many throughout the season was that of EA Sports’ hit hockey game, NHL 23, presenting a vast variety of new features, upgrades, and content that have contributed to one of the best NHL video game experiences for the series to date.

With NHL 23 slowly but surely wrapping up its last few content drops as the season slowly but surely comes to an end, fans have started to wonder when the next edition of the popular hockey series, NHL 24, will arrive this year. NHL 23 was home to a handful of big changes, including the arrival of cross-platform matchmaking for the first time in the series’ history. But with NHL 23 slowly losing its relevance, fans have started to shift their attention towards the release date, cover athlete, and early access period for NHL 24.

If you’re after one of these answers or maybe all three, you’ve come just to the right place. Although EA Sports has yet to reveal any of these key details about the game, we at VideoGamer decided to provide our expert predictions for the release date, cover athlete, and early access period for NHL 24 down below.

NHL 23 Trevor Zegras

NHL 24 release date prediction

For the last three editions of the series, EA Sports has held their NHL official release dates on the second Friday of October. Since that’s been the case over the last three years, we are predicting that NHL 24’s release date will be the same, which means it will likely launch come October 13.

Though this has yet to be confirmed by EA Sports but is a safe bet to expect considering it’s unlikely NHL would change its release date pattern after sticking with it for the last three years. However, should any large changes arrive with the game this year, whether it’s possibly adding PC as a platform for the first time or expanding upon its crossplay, EA Sports could potentially set back its release date.

That said, as soon as NHL 24 announces their release date, we will be sure to update this guide accordingly with the latest information you need to know.

NHL 23

NHL 24 early access prediction

Should the release date of NHL 24 land on October 13 later this year, then the early access period will likely start on October 10, which is a Tuesday. With every single release date for the last three NHL video games, came an early access period – and each time it was three days prior to the official release date.

Whether the release date will fall on October 13 is still unknown. But whether it does or not, fans can expect there to be an early access period for the new game three days prior to the official release date.

NHL 23

NHL 24 cover athlete predictions

Last year, NHL 23 made some huge strides with their video game, with one of them consisting of having for the very first time, a Women’s professional hockey player featured on the cover of the game. Alongside Anaheim Ducks winger Trevor Zegras, NHL 23 had Women’s Canadian National Team star Sarah Nurse on the cover as well.

Whether NHL 24 will follow the same format after last year’s historic cover, has yet to be announced or confirmed. Whether a male and female professional hockey player will be back on the cover or whether it’s just one or the other, we at VideoGamer decided to include our Top 3 predictions for which NHL players have the best chance to make it on the cover this year.

Though it’s unclear whether there will be a women’s hockey talent back on the cover this year (exclusively or not), it’s almost a guarantee that an NHL star will be on the cover for NHL 24. Because of the uncertainty circulating around whether a women’s hockey star will be back on the cover (and if so, who), we’ve decided for time being to provide just three NHL stars we think have the best chance at making it on the cover of the new hockey game later this year:

1. Connor McDavid (C) – Oilers

Seeing how elite and dominant Connor McDavid was yet again over the 2023 regular season, it’s only fair to have him on our predictions list. McDavid, who’s only 26-years-old, led the league in goals (64), assists (89), power play assists (50) and finished second in power play goals. Seriously, what can’t McDavid do. And to add to it, McDavid hasn’t been on an NHL cover since NHL 18. Seeing it has been a little while since the star man was on the cover for the first time, it wouldn’t come to a surprise if he was back for a second appearance this year.

2. Linus Ullmark (G) – Bruins

A goalie as the cover athlete?! Yup! Linus Ullmark was very special this season. Leading all goalkeepers in goals against average (1.89), save percentage (.938), and tying in first in wins (40), the Bruins were the best team in hockey over the 2023 season for good reason, and having the best goalie in the league was a big factor why. Moreover, NHL hasn’t had a goalie featured on the cover of its game since Martin Brodeur was featured on it for NHL 14. Though that is quite the legend to follow suit, Ullmark did have a historic season after all, and it would be fitting to have him on the cover.

3. Jack Hughes (C) – Devils

The Devils have been a team in limbo for quite some time, and finally this season, showed everyone just how dangerous they can be. Offensively, the Devils are led by their 22-year-old star Jack Hughes, who delivered one huge breakout season to help lead the Devils back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season. With 43 goals and 56 assists to his name, Hughes highlighted his greatness in a big way and put forth a game changing performance for the New Jersey Devils this season. Seeing NHL 23 honored another youngster in Trevor Zegras last year, having Hughes on the cover for NHL 24 would certainly be reflective of that new cover trend in a great way.

Image Credit: EA Sports NHL 23