Blue Jackets Earn Respect in ‘NHL 18’ Player Ratings

A team you actually wouldn’t mind playing with.

EA Sports’ NHL 18 video game hits stores Thursday (though EA Access subscribers can play a 10-hour trial now), and for maybe the third time in history, Columbus Blue Jackets fans can look forward to a strong digital version of their favorite team in this year’s edition.

The Blue Jackets check in this year with a 90 overall rating, comprised of an 89 offense, 92 defense and 92 goaltending. That ties the Washington Capitals for third in the Metropolitan Division, behind the Pittsburgh Penguins’ and New York Rangers’ 92 overall score. The CBJ’s 90 places them with Anaheim, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Toronto, Buffalo and Boston. That’s not bad, though it’s strange to see Winnipeg ahead (and Chicago one point behind for the first time in memory).

For what it’s worth, Cleveland’s 70 rank ties Springfield for the worst in the AHL (67 offense, 74 defense and 70 goaltending). That’s what happens when you develop your players and get them on the NHL roster.

All current players are ranked for the Blue Jackets and Monsters, provided they’ve played at least one real-life pro game (so no Pierre-Luc Dubois or Vitaly Abramov). One thing to keep in mind: EA Sports toned down their ratings system this year, and it shows.


Artemi Panarin86
Alexander Wennberg84
Cam Atkinson84
Nick Foligno83
Brandon Dubinsky82
Boone Jenner82
Matt Calvert79
Josh Anderson78
Oliver Bjorkstrand78
Tyler Motte75
Lukas Sedlak74
Sonny Milano73
Zac Dalpe72
Jordan Schroeder71
Markus Hannikainen70
Alex Broadhurst68
Ryan Craig66
Jordan Maletta65
Nick Moutrey64
Paul Bittner63
Kyle Thomas63
Joe Pendenza63
Justin Scott63
Brett Gallant62
Miles Koules59

Truthfully? I’m fine with most of this. Artemi Panarin deserves to lead the group, though I think Atkinson could stand to be an 85. Here’s where nerfing the rating comes in: Atkinson was an 85 to start the 2016-17 season, too. Tyler Motte finds himself on the Cleveland roster to start the season.

At the start of the 2016-17 season, Dubinsky was an 87, Foligno was an 86 and Wennberg an 84.


Zach Werenski85
Seth Jones84
Ryan Murray84
David Savard84
Jack Johnson82
Marcus Nutivaara77
Scott Harrington76
Gabiel Carlsson76
Andre Benoit74
Cameron Gaunce71
Marc-Andre Bergeron70
Jaime Sifers70
John Ramage70
Dean Kukan68
Oleg Yevenko67
Blake Siebenaler62
Jacob Graves61

Would like to see Seth Jones a little bit higher than Ryan Murray and David Savard, but I don’t feel bad about the Jackets icing five defensemen 82 or higher.  Savard was 87 last season, along with Johnson and Jones (Ryan Murray was an 86), so you can see how they’ve squeezed everyone down.


Sergei Bobrovsky89
Joonas Korpisalo79
Brad Thiessen68
Michael Houser67

EA Sports ranked Bob the third-best goalie in the league, behind Braden Holtby (90 overall) and Carey Price (92) overall. Kind of weird a two-time Vezina-winning goalie isn’t at least a 90, no? Cory Schneider (89) and Matt Murray (88) follow Bob in fourth and fifth, respectively. Glad to see they knocked Joonas Korpisalo down from his 82 to start last season.

Full Team Ratings

GSergei Bobrovsky89
FArtemi Panarin86
DZach Werenski85
FAlexander Wennberg84
FCam Atkinson84
DSeth Jones84
DRyan Murray84
DDavid Savard84
FNick Foligno83
FBrandon Dubinsky82
FBoone Jenner82
DJack Johnson82
FMatt Calvert79
GJoonas Korpisalo79
FJosh Anderson78
FOliver Bjorkstrand78
DMarcus Nutivaara77
DScott Harrington76
DGabiel Carlsson76
FTyler Motte75
FLukas Sedlak74
DAndre Benoit74
FSonny Milano73
FZac Dalpe72
FJordan Schroeder71
DCameron Gaunce71
FMarkus Hannikainen70
DMarc-Andre Bergeron70
DJaime Sifers70
DJohn Ramage70
FAlex Broadhurst68
DDean Kukan68
GBrad Thiessen68
DOleg Yevenko67
GMichael Houser67
FRyan Craig66
FJordan Maletta65
FNick Moutrey64
FPaul Bittner63
FKyle Thomas63
FJoe Pendenza63
FJustin Scott63
FBrett Gallant62
DBlake Siebenaler62
DJacob Graves61
FMiles Koules59

There you have it. These ratings change throughout the season of course, so I’m guess Bjorkstrand and Motte will see their stock improve as they progress.

One last thing: for the umpteenth straight year, EA Sports still has the Columbus crowd inaccurately chant “Let’s go Blue Jackets.” Blech.

What do you think about this year’s numbers?

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