In anticipation towards its September 15 release, EA announced today that its cover athlete for EA Sports NHL 18 will be none other than Edmonton Oilers center and Art Ross Trophy Winner Connor McDavid. In addition to the news, EA has also revealed an all-new mode, NHL Threes, that introduces fast-paced 3-on-3 player action.

“Representing NHL 18 as the cover athlete is an incredible honor,” said Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers. “I’ve played EA Sports NHL every year since I was kid. To appear on the cover, something that has been done previously by so many players that I respect and admire, is very exciting. I can’t wait to play NHL 18.”

EA Sports NHL 18 adds Creative Attack controls and the all-new Defensive Skill stick. In addition to the franchise mode, there will be an Expansion Draft that lets players choose to play as the Vegas Golden Knights or create their own 32nd NHL team from the ground up.

NHL 18 introduces 3-on-3 hockey in two bold new ways. First, NHL Threes is an arcade-inspired experience with fast-paced, over-the-top action that features faster gameplay, bigger hits and high-scoring action. Players can choose modes between fast-fun couch co-op and fully competitive online team play, or dive into the new NHL Threes circuit-style campaign mode to compete against different teams and leagues in a circuit-style journey where they can unlock objective-based rewards as they progress through the campaign. Second, NHL 18 adds an authentic 3-on-3 online team play option to the fan-favorite EA Sports Hockey League mode, allowing for more open ice and strategic, risk-vs-reward multiplayer competition. For those that want to try out the new mode, you can sign up for the public beta here.

EA Sports NHL 18 will be available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 15, though players who order the EA Sports NHL 18 Young Stars Edition or Young Stars Deluxe Edition can play it three days earlier; additionally, EA Access members can play for up to 10 hours starting September 7 with the EA Access Play First Trial. Check out the debut trailer above, see what Jay thought of last year’s edition, and stay tuned for more news here on Gaming Trend.