EA Sports has released the names of the NHL players who have been added to their NHL 23 Team of the Year, and how they’re celebrating.The six men in question are Cale Makar, Roman Josi, Igor Shesterkin, Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews. To celebrate, every member of the Team of the Year will get a new, upgraded Hockey Ultimate Team player item that players will be able to snag for their entire roster. Three players will be getting a physical award as well, with the skaters receiving Team of the Year skates and the goalies receiving a Team of the Year mask. We got more info on all six players below.
- Cale Makar – Widely regarded as one of the best defencemen and players in the NHL, Makar won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2022 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 2022 playoffs. For his incredible 2021-2022 season, Makar also won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best all-around defenceman. And last year, Makar earned his 200th career point in 195 games, the fastest pace of any NHL defencemen to that milestone.
- Roman Josi – Last year, defenceman Josi had an exceptional total of 96 points for the Nashville Predators to become the franchise’s single season points leader breaking Paul Kariya’s previous record of 85 in 2005-06. Josi’s 96 points also made him the first defenceman to score 90 points in a single season since Ray Bourque in 1993-94. Josi finished second for the Norris Trophy despite having the most first place votes.
- Igor Shesterkin – As goaltender for the New York Rangers, Shesterkin had a masterful 2022 with 79 saves in his NHL playoff debut, setting the all-time team record for saves in a playoff game with the second most saves in a playoff game league-wide. Shesterkin also was named First Team All-Star after the end of the playoffs. The goalie’s .935 save percentage for the 2021-2022 season was also the third highest in league history among goalies to play at least 50 games in a season.
- Connor McDavid – Regarded by many as the fastest player in the league, center McDavid led his Edmonton Oilers all the way to the Western Conference Finals in 2022, leading all playoff players with 10 goals and 23 assists. McDavid also became the first player since Peter Forsberg in 2002 to be first in scoring without playing in the final round. In McDavid’s 2022-23 season opener game, he increased his total career points to 700, making him the sixth-fastest player ever to reach the milestone, and the fastest player since the 1980s. McDavid finished second for the 2021-2022 Hart Trophy.
- Nathan MacKinnon – Historically an exceptional performer in the postseason, MacKinnon was also part of the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in 2022, leading all skaters with 13 goals in the 2022 playoffs. After signing a huge contract extension that would be the highest in league history for average annual value, center MacKinnon continues to perform at a stunning pace while overcoming injuries simultaneously.
- Auston Matthews – For the 2021-22 season, Matthews set records for most goals scored in a single season by both an American-born player and a Maple Leaf, eventually winning the Rocket Richard Trophy for a second consecutive season, Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player as voted by his peers and the Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player. Matthews’ outstanding run as a Maple Leaf has become more than noteworthy recently, being the fastest Leafs player to register 500 career points. The 25-year-old center has a lot left in the tank, evidenced by his league leading 60 goals last season, despite missing nine games.