he Canadian Hockey League in association with Electronic Arts today announced a four year agreement that will see the league included in NHL products. The three regional leagues that make up the CHL, including the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), will all have their teams and players represented in EA SPORTS NHL 11 when it becomes available in retail stores this September.
Representing 51 Canadian and nine American teams with players aged 16-20 the CHL is the top development league in the world and the number one provider of talent to the NHL. 47% of all players selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft came from CHL teams. The 2010 NHL Entry Draft could mark the fourth straight year where a CHL player is selected first overall, with Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers and Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires representing the top two ranked players by NHL Central Scouting.
“The CHL is very excited to partner with an industry leader like EA SPORTS to create a brand new way for CHL fans to associate with their favorite CHL teams and players,” said David Branch, President, CHL. “This opportunity also provides EA SPORTS fans around the world the ability to learn more about the next wave of NHL stars as they compete in the best development league in the world.”
“It’s exciting to have the CHL integrated into our game for the first time,” said Jordan Edelstein, VP of Marketing, EA SPORTS. “Their inclusion will make NHL 11 the most definitive and complete hockey experience available.”
Four of the last five players to be featured on the cover of EA SPORTS NHL Series games are CHL graduates including Patrick Kane, Dion Phaneuf, Eric Staal and Vincent Lecavalier.
The licensing agreement between EA SPORTS and the CHL allows the following to be included in NHL 11:
• Ability to play with all 60 teams that make up the CHL
• Names and Likenesses of players that are on the rosters of a CHL team
• Mastercard Memorial Cup
• CHL new RBK Edge Jersey design in NHL 11
• WHL, OHL and QMJHL logos and league structures
The CHL integration in NHL 11 will tie to several modes in the game, including Be A Pro, Be A GM, Tournament Mode, Season Mode and Playoff Mode.
The EA SPORTS NHL franchise has won 22 Sports Game of the Year awards over the past three years. This year the NHL 11 franchise begins a new era with gameplay innovations that are set to deliver the most realistic, accurate and exciting representation of NHL hockey to date.
NHL 11 will be available for the PS3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 for $59.99. It is developed by EA Canada in Burnaby, B.C.