NHL 21 HUT Deep Dive Details What Fans Can Expect

NHL 21 Release

Back in August, the NHL team dropped a content roadmap for when to expect details on NHL 21. The schedule has taken some understandable detours, but today we finally get a deep dive on how Hockey Ultimate Team, or HUT, will look in NHL 21. The blog post focuses in on NHL 21’s new HUT game mode, HUT Rush, but adds other details as well.

Quick In, Quick Out with NHL 21’s HUT Rush

NHL 21 HUT Rush
NHL 21’s HUT Rush landing screen, via EA.com

EA has previously described NHL 21’s HUT Rush as a way to quickly jump into HUT games. Today’s deep dive reiterates that point. HUT Rush is described as “a new mode that allows both HUT and non-HUT players to jump into a quick Online or Single-Player game of THREES, 3-on-3, or 5-on-5 gameplay.” HUT Rush will feature different events, which will require various methods of teambuilding. Sometimes, you’ll draft a team from a pool of choices. Other times, you’ll be required to bring your own Ultimate Team players. HUT Rush will rotate through various rulesets, gameplay styles, draft pools, and team requirements throughout the year. You earn HUT rewards regardless. This means some game modes will allow players to progress in HUT even if they don’t have a strong HUT squad.

Players earn skill points for a variety of actions during a HUT Rush match. You can see the skill points you earn in a tracker at the top of your screen. Besides the importance of transparency, it’s mechanically important to keep track of your skill points. The queue remembers the last three actions you took for up to five seconds. Whenever you score a goal in HUT Rush, you get bonus skill points based on the last three actions you performed. Each event will have objectives, missions that reward bonus skill points upon completion.

NHL 21 HUT Rush
A screenshot of NHL 21 showcasing the HUT Rush Skill Point Ticker, via EA.com

HUT Rush will frequently feature limited time events. These events make up a reward season.  During a reward season, your skill points from all events combine to unlock various reward tiers. You unlock these rewards as soon as you hit a tier.

HUT Price Ranges, Combating The Secondary Market

A few weeks ago we reported on Madden’s new Support A Creator Program. The program lets players use Creator Codes when buying Madden points to receive discounts, while the creator in question receives a cut of the sale. We theorized that this must be one way EA is trying to prevent the growth of Ultimate Team Coin Sellers.

Starting in NHL 21, HUT is introducing yet another way to combat Coin Sellers. Items placed on the HUT Action House are now subject to price ranges. This establishes a minimum and maximum coin price that items can be sold for at any given time. Coin selling relies on the previous lack of a maximum price to function–basically, players list unpopular items on the auction house, and set a ridiculously high price. They pay real money to a coin selling website, who then buys the item. Viola, coins for cash. With a low ceiling set on less valuable items, it will be more difficult to make this cash for coin transaction worth the effort.

Synergy and Other Changes

NHL 21 HUT Rush
NHL 21 Synergy Icons, via EA.com

In NHL 21, synergies will be display with icons. Silver icons are player synergies, and gold icons are team synergies. EA is adding a “Preview Synergy” button, which gives players a quick look at potential synergy boosts to players before completing a synergy. Items in the Auction House will now show how many synergy points Users need to complete a synergy while filtering by Synergy Style.

Contract and Injury items are being removed from NHL 21. While a player can still be injuring during a HUT match, the injury no longer carries over to future matches. On the flip side, Team Building Sets will return in NHL 21 for all teams. Like FIFA Ultimate Team, HUT will feature three different rarities for Master Icon cards: bronze, silver and gold. There will be tweaks to player progression as well, which can be found in greater detail on EA’s blog post.