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How do the Calgary Flames look in NHL 17?

Looking at the ratings of Flames players in the video game

2016 NHL Awards - Show Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Looking at who’s overrated and who’s underrated in NHL 17.

With the 2016-17 NHL season set to begin in just under a week with preseason games, we look at how the Flames rank according to EA Sports.

EA Sports, the makers of NHL 17 annually release their latest edition of the video game series every September shortly before training camps, allowing for fans to get excited for the upcoming hockey season.

Last season, the Flames who were fresh off their improbable season received very high rankings in the team categories with an 89 on offence, 93 on defence (tied for league best), and an 87 in goaltending. I’d imagine that by season’s end the goaltending ranking was probably hovering near 60, if EA was feeling generous.

This year, EA was more realistic and gave the Flames lower numbers in all categories. The offence ranking dropped to an 87, the defence is still very high but down to a 92, and the goaltending dropped to an 86 despite the addition of two solid netminders.

Now, let’s look at the some the individual player rankings for the Flames roster:

*all players are in order and line combinations set by EA not by me

Forwards

Johnny Gaudreau 90 - Sean Monahan 88 - Troy Brouwer 84

Sam Bennett 82 - Mikael Backlund 84 - Michael Frolik 85

Michael Ferland 80 - Matt Stajan 81 - Alex Chiasson 81

Lance Bouma 81 - Freddie Hamilton 76 - Brandon Bollig 78

Defencemen

Mark Giordano 90 - Dougie Hamilton 88

TJ Brodie 88 - Dennis Wideman 84

Ladislav Smid 81 - Deryk Engelland 81

Goalies

Brian Elliott 85

Chad Johnson 80

Scratches

Chris Higgins 79 - Linden Vey 80 - Jyrki Jokipakka 82 - Garnet Hathaway 72

First off, for those looking for Matthew Tkachuk, rookies aren’t on NHL rosters in the original release of the game and he will be on a roster update later on. He also carries his CHL rating of 73 right now, which will go up as CHL players are rated way lower than NHLers.

Overall, I don’t think there’s too much wrong with the forwards. I think Johnny and Monny are about where they should be right now. Sam Bennett definitely deserves at least one or two points higher in my opinion. Backlund could be an 85.

Other than that I’m fine with the rankings but I’m genuinely curious how Bollig always finds a way to get into the lineup.

For defence, Gio is where he should be, same with Dougie. However, Brodie is still quite undervalued in my opinion and I think he should be equal to, or have an even higher rating than Gio. Wideman is a few points too high for what he brings, same with Smid who probably won’t even play this year. Engelland’s rating is decent I guess but I’m shocked to see Jokipakka on the scratches list and I think he deserves an 83 or 84.

For goaltenders, Brian Elliott maintains his 85 from NHL 16 which in my opinion is much too low for him. Consider this, Jonas Hiller was an 85 in NHL 16 as well. Elliott should be an 87 or 88. Chad Johnson drops from his NHL 16 rating of 83, to an 80 with no apparent reason after putting up stellar numbers in Buffalo.

I already talked about Jokipakka but in terms of the rest of the scratches, their ratings seem fair but I’m very surprised to see Hathaway included on the NHL roster with such a low rating. His impact last year apparently went a long way.

Now, let’s look at the Stockton Heat and how they stack up.

Forwards

Hunter Shinkaruk 71 - Bill Arnold 74 - Mike Angelidis 72

Morgan Klimchuk 70 - Matt Frattin 77 - Hunter Smith 71

Austin Carroll 69 - Emile Poirier 77 - Colton Orr 72

Mason Raymond 79 - Kenney Morrison 73 - Yann Sauve 69

Defence

Oliver Kylington 65 - Tyler Wotherspoon 75

Pat Sieloff 74 - Ryan Culkin 71

Aaron Johnson 73 - Brett Kulak 71

Goalies

Jon Gillies 71

Kent Simpson 68

Scratches

Jamie Devane 70

Okay, so let’s just disregard this lineup as a whole because it obviously hasn’t been updated enough as many of these players are now gone.

The only ratings here that surprise me are Hunter Shinkaruk, Tyler Wotherspoon, and Jon Gillies. Personally, I think all of them deserve at least three or four points higher. Other than them, this lineup is abysmally wrong.

There have been some good reviews thus far for NHL 17 and for those willing to shell out $90 and days worth of their time to play the game, happy gaming to you.

Do you think these ratings are too high, too low, terrible? Tell us how you feel in the comments and how you think the Flames lineup will look compared to this in 2016-17. The first preseason game is September 26!