NHL 11 Release / Launch: Taylor Hall, Nazem Kadri & More in the Rookie Challenge!
Today was the media only launch of EA Sports' NHL 11. The launch featured a "Rookie Challenge". NHL rookies Taylor Hall, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Seguin and more squared off in a massive tournament to demonstrate that they are just as skilled at video game hockey as they are on the ice. NHL 11 is the highly anticipated 2010 - 2011 edition of EA Sport's popular NHL franchise. NHL has always provided top of the line graphics, simulation style game play, incredible controls, and the best overall hockey video game experience. EA invited the cream of the NHL rookie class crop to the event. Many of these names may seem unfamiliar to the average person. Most of the rookies at the launch are entering their first season in the NHL as rookies. Nazem Kadri has one game of NHL experience and is expected to crack the Maple Leafs roster this season. Highly touted prospects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were the #1 and #2 selections in this year's NHL entry draft. Mats Zucarello - Aasen was brought to the NHL after a stellar showing at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games. Needless to say, many of the rookies at the launch will be NHL all stars one day soon. Taylor Hall was a finalist in the rookie challenge. He beat several others before losing to Ryan McDonagh in the finals. I arrived just in time to see the two rookies battle it out for NHL 11 supremacy. Both seemed very determined to win, focused on the game, and pulled off some fantastic moves in the game. I guess Hall is as good at NHL games as he is on the real ice. I tried to get an interview with him for U Be the Critic, but after the tournament, he was swamped by Toronto media moguls like TSN and Rogers Sportsnet. Nazem Kadri was not a finalist in the tournament, but he did make it to the semi finals before losing to eventual winner Ryan Mcdonagh. I was interested to see Kadri in person. He is expected to crack the Maple Leafs roster this season after an impressive showing with the London Knights, and at the World Juniors. I didn't get a chance to talk to Nazem because he was also swamped by the Toronto media. Hockey players in Toronto are treated like kings. EA threw a great event to launch the newest NHL. The NHL series is fantastic, easily one of the best hockey video games ever created. I had a chance to briefly play the newest one, and it looks amazing. The graphics are amazing, the gameplay is still precise and realistic. EA has added a few things. There are now broken sticks, a new face-off dynamic, and new leagues and teams to play with. It all promises to be another awesome chapter of EA's NHL legacy.