NHLers to go head-to-head in series of NHL 20 matchups


Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

As the 2019-20 NHL season remains on hold, the league is getting creative when it comes to putting hockey games on fans’ screens.

On Thursday, the NHL announced a partnership with ESL Gaming that will see nearly 50 NHLers go head-to-head in NHL 20 matchups over the course of four weeks beginning April 30.

Every NHL club will be represented — including NHL Seattle — with a list of players that includes Charlie McAvoy, Evander Kane, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Darnell Nurse and Zach Hyman. Seattle Seahawks tight end (and noted hockey fan) Luke Willson will represent NHL Seattle.

Games will be hosted virtually by Los Angeles Kings TV play-by-play announcer Alex Faust. The first matchup will feature brothers Brady and Matthew Tkachuk going head-to-head in a matchup between the Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames.

Select games will air on Sportsnet ONE, with matchups also available to stream live on Sportsnet NOW and Sportnet’s other digital channels (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and sportsnet.ca) as well as on the NHL’s YouTube and Twitch channels.

“Over the past several weeks, the NHL, its Clubs and player community have been very active with gaming initiatives in an effort to connect with fans while social distancing – such as charity tournaments, simulated games and nightly streams,” Chris Golier, NHL VP of Business Development and Innovation, said via the league’s press release. “We know how competitive our players are, and coupled with the interaction between players, these series of competitions will be extremely fun to watch.”

As part of the initiative, the NHL Foundation and Electronic Arts also announced they will donate a combined $100,000 in support of the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Here’s the full list of NHLers set to represent their clubs on the virtual screen:

Anaheim Ducks: Cam Fowler
Arizona Coyotes: Conor Garland, Clayton Keller
Boston Bruins: Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy
Buffalo Sabres: Brandon Montour
Calgary Flames: Noah Hanifin, Matthew Tkachuk
Carolina Hurricanes: Warren Foegele
Chicago Blackhawks: Drake Caggiula, Alex DeBrincat,
Columbus Blue Jackets: Elvis Merzlikins, Zach Werenski
Colorado Avalanche: J.T. Compher
Dallas Stars: Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak
Detroit Redwings: Madison Bowey, Anthony Mantha
Edmonton Oilers: Caleb Jones, Darnell Nurse
Florida Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau
Los Angeles Kings: Michael Amadio, Blake Lizotte
Minnesota Wild: Devan Dubnyk, Jordan Greenway
Montreal Canadiens: Victor Mete, Nick Suzuki
Nashville Predators: Filip Forsberg
New Jersey Devils: Mackenzie Blackwood
New York Islanders: Matt Martin
New York Rangers: Chris Kreider
NHL Seattle: Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks (NFL)
Ottawa Senators: Brady Tkachuk, Chris Tierney
Philadelphia Flyers: James van Riemsdyk
Pittsburgh Penguins: Zach Aston-Reese, Bryan Rust
San Jose Sharks: Evander Kane, Marcus Sorensen
St Louis Blues: Colton Parayko, Robert Thomas
Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson
Toronto Maple Leafs: Zach Hyman
Vancouver Canucks: Thatcher Demko, Adam Gaudette
Vegas Golden Knights: Ryan Reaves, Alex Tuch
Washington Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov
Winnipeg Jets: Anthony Bitetto, Kyle Connor

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