On Monday, Electronic Arts announced that Makar will be the face of the gaming franchise for the next year.
All Hail Cale 🥬 #NHL24
Stanley Cup Champ, Norris Winner, and your official NHL 24 Cover Athlete
— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) August 14, 2023
Is it a big surprise? No, not really. If anything, it’s probably a year too late. The time to capitalize on Makar’s popularity might have been right after he won the Norris Trophy AND Conn Smythe Trophy in 2022. Alas, they waited an extra year to put him on the cover of the NHL game, and here we are.
Makar is not the first Avalanche player to grace the cover. Peter Forsberg was the cover athlete for NHL 98, and although he wasn’t the original choice, Joe Sakic eventually replaced Dany Heatley to be the cover athlete for NHL 2004.
So yes, Makar is joining Avalanche (and NHL) royalty by becoming the cover athlete for the game. At this point, that’s just standard operating procedure for him. At just 24, he’s already been compared to the likes of Bobby Orr, so becoming the face of the gaming franchise might seem like nothing to him.
While the game does not have an official release date yet, it typically comes out around the start of the NHL season.
Now, will NHL 24 actually be any good this year? Probably not. I don’t play these games like I used to, but the few times I have played it in recent years, it’s been pretty unimpressive. It actually seems like the franchise is going backwards, when they should be pushing the envelope.
But hey, now Avalanche fans will be able to buy a game with their favorite defenseman on the cover.
And that’s pretty sweet.