Trevor Zegras Getty Anaheim Ducks
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Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras and Team Canada star Sarah Nurse have been named as the cover athletes for NHL 23, according to an announcement from EA Sports. Nurse will become the first women’s hockey player to appear on the cover of the league’s video game franchise.

“It’s something that I never even thought was in the realm of possibilities,” Nurse told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “I never even dreamed of being on it. And so I think that it’s huge and I think that it just speaks for where women’s hockey is right now, the visibility and the value that people see in women’s hockey.”

Clem Kwong, who is the lead producer for the EA Sports NHL video game franchise, told Whyshynski that the company has considered putting a female hockey player on the cover in the past, but felt that the time was right with NHL 23. Women’s national team rosters from the IIHF world championships were made available to be played in NHL 22, which marked the first time that women’s players could be utilized in the video game.

Zegras produced a strong rookie campaign with the Ducks during the 2021-22 season. The 21-year old was named as one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie after scoring 23 goals and dishing out 38 assists.

The Ducks star really rose to prominence with a handful of highlight reel-type plays throughout the season. The most impressive was when he lifted the puck on his stick behind the Buffalo Sabres net and passed it to teammate Sonny Milano for an insane goal.

After Zegras lifted the puck on his stick on several occasions, EA Sports programmers decided to create the action in the game. Now gamers can lift the puck on their sticks like Zegras in NHL 23.

NHL 23 will be available on Oct. 14. EA Sports is expected to announce more information about the video game next week.