I thought for sure that EA Sports would pick Auston Matthews to be the cover athlete for NHL 18 given the breakout year he had and that he was a shoe-in for the Calder trophy but they surprised me by picking Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.
It make sense as Connor led the team to the second round of the playoffs this year. The Oilers haven't sniffed the playoffs in years despite being gifted first round pick after first round pick so it's good to see the city some love.
It looks like EA is playing up the next generation of hockey stars this year as they hype video shows off a lot of the new young forward talent in the league (Blue Jacket defensemen Zach Werenski is notably absent but let's face it, blocking shots isn't nearly as glamorous as scoring goals). It does look like they are making some changes to the skill stick and tweaking how the defensive controls work.
Players will get a chance to check these changes and more out when the beta starts in late July. Be sure to register ahead of time to lock down your access to the beta.