‘Draft Champions’ is an NHL 17 mode to get excited about

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Many people believe that sports video games often amount to little more than “roster updates.”

That’s really not always true, yet it is fair to say that new features frequently do little beyond adding some “back of the box” buzz.

It’s quite possible that NHL 17’s “Draft Champions” mode will fizzle out like many others, but here’s hoping that is not the case.

There’s evidence that such a mode could really add a nice bit of variety to the title. “Madden 16” introduced the concept, inspiring rave reviews from the likes of Polygon’s Owen S. Good, who labeled it “a wickedly clever challenge” that applies the ideas of daily fantasy sports “and applies it to video games marvelously.”

It’s a lot like a fantasy draft in video game modes, only it’s also about scarcity; you can only tweak some of your team, so you often need to weigh that age-old draft question of “best player available” vs. “meeting a need.”

The mode doesn’t last a generation’s worth of seasons like other ones, either, so it really keeps things fresh.

Here’s how EA describes how the mode will exist in NHL 17:

The new Draft Champions mode introduces the thrill of the fantasy draft with fast rounds of superstar picks. Each round challenges managers to choose the best players to build a balanced team. Immediately following your draft, take to the ice and fulfill your team’s potential by winning the Draft Championship.

Yup, that could be pretty cool, even if it might lack the depth of the Madden version in certain areas like “coaching playbook.”

For more information regarding the game, check out NHL 17’s “Vision” trailer in the video above this post’s headline. This post also details new features.