Florida Panthers in EA's NHL '13: Rating the Virtual Roster

While not every year may have provided NHL hockey - see half of 1994-95 and all of 2004-05 - the past 20+ years have at least presented us with some very solid hockey video games. Next month NHL 13, the 21st installment of the remarkable EA NHL series, will be available for purchase. Yahoo! Sports recently released the new game rankings for players from all 30 teams, and as expected with each season's iteration a few alterations have been implemented.

From the game's Wikipedia page:

In NHL 12, each player's overall rating is based on that player's role in the team (playmaker, enforcer, defensive defenceman etc). In NHL 13, however, the player's overall rating is based on that player's skill in their position (i.e. forward, defenceman, or goaltender). For example, in NHL 12, George Parros (at that time playing for the Anaheim Ducks) was rated 81 overall (out of 99) based on his role as an enforcer. In NHL 13, Parros' overall rating has been lowered down to 69 as determined by his skill as a forward. EA Sports stated that this was "a fan-requested change". Based on their attribute values, the players are now also given 5-star ratings for these six categories: shooting, puck skills, senses, skating, physical, and defense. Further, the teams' overall ratings for offense, defense and goaltending are now also five-star based ratings instead of out-of-100 ones.

Read on after the jump to see how your favorite Panthers are ranked at their respective positions in EA NHL 13...

Centers NHL 12 Rating NHL 13 Rating
Stephen Weiss 85 83
Marcel Goc 81 79
Scottie Upshall 82 79
Shawn Matthias 78 76
Casey Wellman
74 74

Not a surprise to see Weiss on top and Goc right after, but Upshall was listed as a right wing in '12, and to my knowledge was primarily utilized as a winger in his 26 appearances. Apparently NHL 13 believes Mike Santorelli won't be on the Panthers roster, as he's not listed (Jerred Smithson is a no-show as well).

Left Wingers
NHL 12 Rating NHL 13 Rating
Tomas Fleischmann 83 83
Sean Bergenheim 81 79
Tomas Kopecky 81 79
Krys Barch 78 67

Kopecky goes from right to left wing in NHL 13, while Fleischmann similarly moves to the port side. Still mildly confused as to how Barch is listed as a Panther since the game (rightfully) has F Casey Wellman on the Cats roster, as well as Rick Nash appearing with the Rangers; both trades occurred after Barch signed with the Devils.

Right Wingers
NHL 12 Rating NHL 13 Rating
Kris Versteeg 85 83
Peter Mueller 84 81
George Parros 81 69

Versteeg moves over to right wing and Mueller's past injuries haven't hurt his rating. Parros, used an example for the new ratings (see above), takes a huge nose dive to AHL-level abilities.

Defensemen NHL 12 Rating NHL 13 Rating
Brian Campbell 85 83
Dmitry Kulikov 82 83
Filip Kuba 81 82
Ed Jovanovski 83 79
Mike Weaver 79 75
Erik Gudbranson
79 75

Campbell and RFA Kulikov are rated together as the Panthers' best defensemen, with Kuba close behind. Interesting that the new ratings system has increased both Kulikov and Kuba: the only Panthers on the roster to do see such a change. Jovanovski understandably falls short of 80, although why he drops and Kuba increases is beyond me. Weaver and Gudbranson tied at 75!?!?! I can understand having Guds at 75, since soon-to-be sophomores typically see ratings in the low 70s, but Mike Weaver? This is bad comedy!

Comparative list of defensemen rated superior to Weaver:

Defensemen NHL 12 Rating NHL 13 Rating
Jose Theodore 82 78
Scott Clemmensen 81 76

No real shockers here. And for those curious, Vancouver's Roberto Luongo checks in at 89 (previously pegged with a 90).

EA's latest promotional video (courtesy of EA Sports)