Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews scores cover of 'NHL 20' video game that includes Hurricanes' great celebrations

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews has been unveiled as the next cover athlete for EA Sports' popular NHL video game franchise. Matthews was announced as the frontman for "NHL 20" at the 2019 NHL Awards in Vegas on Thursday night. 

A debut gameplay trailer for the game was also unveiled at the event, and you can check that out below. Gamespot has more on the latest installment of the EA Sports game.

Matthews will take over the cover after Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban led the marketing for last year's title. The 21-year-old Leafs star is only the third American player to receive the honor, following Patrick Kane and John Vanbiesbrouck.

"Growing up I always admired all the players who got to be on the cover of the game. This is a very cool honor and I am proud to represent my organization," Matthews said in a statement. "I'm also really competitive, so now I can't wait to fire up 'NHL 20' in the locker room and play against my teammates."

Check out some early screenshots from the game:

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EA Sports
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EA Sports

Here are some of the game's new features, according to a press release from EA Sports:

  • More Real Player Motion (RPM) Tech: "This year's gameplay introduces Signature Shots that replicate the most recognizable shot styles of the biggest NHL stars, including P.K. Subban's booming slap shot windup, Auston Matthews' half toe-drag wrist shot, and Alex Ovechkin's seamless one-timer. Hundreds of new shot animations allow for more dangerous attacks, and RPM Tech-powered overhauls to passing and puck pick-ups create a faster and more fluid game that can be executed at full speed to replicate real NHL action. 
  • New goaltender A.I.:  "Includes a full offensive threat analysis, allowing netminders to read and react to the development and threat level of each zone entry."
  • New 'Eliminator' game mode: "A winner-take-all competition inspired by battle royale. ONES Eliminator pits 81 players against each other in a survival tournament bracket en route to crowning the ultimate winner. Players can also squad up with friends in THREES Eliminator in an attempt to win back-to-back rounds against increasingly competitive opponents."
  • Revamped broadcast package: "New play-by-play and color commentary to 'NHL 20,' paired with overhauled scoreboards, overlays and motion graphics, all built to put players in the center of the game's biggest moments. New to 'NHL 20,' Play Of The Game brings memorable plays to life through highlights designed to put top moments on a pedestal for both your teammates and opponents."
  • Hockey Ultimate Team and NHL ONES updates: "Including the ability to play ONES via local multiplayer with class-based NHL stars, creating the opportunity to challenge friends to a 1v1v1 battle at any moment. Hockey Ultimate Team introduces a new way to play in Squad Battles, the highly acclaimed mode from EA SPORTS FIFA that allows players to compete and earn big rewards in offline battles...Hockey Ultimate Team also welcomes a new roster of playable hockey Icons, bringing the total number of collectible and playable Icons to over 400."
  • World of CHEL updates: "World of CHEL continues to evolve with CHEL Challenges, weekly in-game events across all of fan favorite modes that unlock unique customization rewards, character XP and more. ... World of CHEL now offers over 2,000 unique customization items to craft your look and your playstyle - from gear and equipment, to lifestyle apparel from hockey's biggest brands. Additionally, four new outdoor locations bring the game to never-before-seen ponds in the remote wilderness and city landmarks inspired by iconic locations."

"NHL 20" will hit shelves and digital marketplaces on Sept. 13, 2019.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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