Who is on the cover of NHL 23? EA Sports reveals Ducks’ Trevor Zegras, Team Canada’s Sarah Nurse as cover athletes

EA Sports has announced that the cover athletes for the upcoming game will be NHL 23 Ducks forward Trevor Zegras and Canada National Team forward Sarah Nurse.

It’s a historic cover as Nurse is the first female hockey player to appear on a video game cover of the NHL franchise.

“It’s such an honor to be the first woman to cover the EA SPORTS NHL franchise,” said Nurse. “Hockey truly is for everyone, and I’m excited that NHL 23 celebrates the diversity and inclusiveness of the sport. I hope that having greater representation of women in such a prominent game will inspire young girls everywhere to know that there is a place for them in hockey.”

Nurse comes from the sensational 2022 Olympics, where she set two new Olympic records for most points (18) and most assists (13) in a single tournament en route to Canada’s gold medal win.

Alongside her on the cover is Zegras, the Ducks’ rookie sensation who ignited the hockey world last season not only with his two goals in Michigan but also with his Michigan assist.

“As someone who has played EA SPORTS NHL since I was a child, to be on the cover with Sarah this year is a dream come true,” said Zegras. “I can’t wait to play this year’s version with my friends and teammates, and I’m just as excited to see the fans unleash my Michigan Flip Pass put into play by the team at EA SPORTS.”

MORE: Who can return to play at World Juniors 2023?

The rest of the game details will be released on Thursday, August 25th. Learn more about the NHL 23 cover and past cover athletes here.

Who is on the cover of NHL 23?

Trevor Zegras

Zegras is a forward for the Ducks who just finished his rookie season. He finished second in the Calder Trophy voting, second among rookies with his 61 points, second place 23 goals, and third place 38 assists. Zegras’ point total was second with the Ducks while leading the team in assists.

The 21-year-old is known for his sensational hands and the dekes he can pull off with them. The highlight of his 2021-22 season was an incredible assist when he picked up the puck from behind the net and turned it up and towards his teammate Sonny Milano, who smacked the puck into the net in mid-air.

He also successfully scored two goals for Michigan last season, picking the puck up with his blade and whipping it into the net lacrosse-style.

At a time when the game of hockey is modernizing and focusing on skill and speed rather than brute force, Zegras is at the forefront of creativity on the ice. It’s a movement that has taken over youth hockey across the United States.

Sarah nurse

Nurse is a member of the Canada women’s national ice hockey team. As previously mentioned, she was a key factor in the team’s success in Beijing last February, leading the tournament in points and assists in a historic performance at the Olympics. She is also an independent member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.

The 27-year-old is also committed to diversity and inclusion in hockey. As a black athlete in a sport mostly dominated by white men, Nurse has become someone girls can look up to.

“I put myself back when I was five or six years old, you know, I could never see (diversity in hockey), so I think what makes me so proud and happy about these different forms of representation is just that fact that kids can see that nowadays,” Nurse said after the Olympics.

Nurse is part of an extensive sports family. Her uncles are Donovan McNabb, a former NHL quarterback, and Richard Nurse, a wide receiver in the CFL. Richard’s children are Darnell and Kia Nurse. Darnell is a defensive tackle with the Oilers and Kia is a point guard for the NBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

Who has been on previous NHL covers?

Not only is NHL 23 the first cover to feature a female player, but it is also the first time a cover has featured two athletes since NHL 96, when it featured an image of Scott Stevens and Steve Yzerman.

NHL 16 was supposed to feature both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, however Kane was removed from the cover prior to release.

Game Year Cover Athlete(s)
NHL Ice Hockey 1991 Glenn Healy
NHLPA Hockey ’93 1992 Rod Brind’Amour, Mike Richter, Randy Moeller
NHL ’94 1993 Tomas Sandstrom, Andy Moog
NHL 95 1994 Alexei Kovalev, Kirk McLean
NHL96 1995 Scott Stevens, Steve Yzerman
NHL 97 1996 John Vanbiesbrouck
NHL 98 1997 Peter Forsberg
NHL 99 1998 Eric Lindros
NHL 2000 1999 Chris Pronger
NHL 2001 2000 Owen Nolan
NHL 2002 2001 Mario Lemieux
NHL 2003 2002 Jarome Iginla
NHL 2004 2003 Dany Heatley, Joe Sakic
NHL 2005 2004 Markus Naslund
NHL 06 2005 Vincent Lecavalier
NHL 07 2006 Alexander Ovechkin
NHL 08 2007 Eric Staal
NHL 09 2008 Dion Phaneuf
NHL10 2009 Patrick Kane
NHL11 2010 Jonathan Tows
NHL12 2011 Steven Stamko
NHL 13 2012 Claude Giroux
NHL14 2013 Martin Brother
NHL 15 2014 Patrice Bergeron
NHL16 2015 Jonathan Tows
NHL 17 2016 Vladimir Tarasenko
NHL18 2017 Connor McDavid
NHL 19 2018 PK Subban
NHL20 2019 Austin Matthews
NHL21 2020 Alexander Ovechkin
NHL22 2021 Austin Matthews
NHL23 2022 Trevor Zegras, Sarah Nurse

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