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Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane is NHL 10 cover athlete

10:00 AM on 06.23.2009 // Samit Sarkar

This leaked last week, but now the official reveal has been made by EA Sports: Patrick Kane, the star right winger for the Chicago Blackhawks, will be on the North American cover of NHL 10. It’s a special announcement in a couple of ways: at only 20 years old, Kane is the youngest player ever to grace the cover of EA’s NHL series, and he’s also only the second American-born player to be featured on the box (the first was All-Star goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck way back on NHL 97).

Just like last year, the game will feature different cover athletes in certain countries. Washington Capitals center Nicklas Bäckström will be on the cover of all NHL 10 copies sold in Sweden, and the cover athletes for Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland will be revealed “at a later date.” (The game will launch across Europe on September 18th.)

In only two years, Kane has really made a name for himself in the NHL. After winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2008, he helped lead the ’Hawks to the Western Conference Finals this year. In each season, he’s registered over 20 goals and 70 points. Jordan Edelstein, VP of Marketing for EA Sports, said that the company believes Kane is “one of the next great American hockey stars.”

There are five screens of Kane kicking ass -- as well as the PS3 and 360 box art -- in the gallery below, along with a new trailer and a press release after the jump. NHL 10 will be out in North America on September 15th for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Be sure to also check out the game’s debut trailer, Nick’s E3 write-up, and a features list that GameStop let slip. There’s more stuff on the game’s Web site, too!

Chicago Blackhawks Star Patrick Kane the New Face of EA Sports NHL10

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – June 22, 2009 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today revealed that 20-year-old scoring phenom Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks will be the new face of the NHL® 10 videogame from EA SPORTS™. Kane is the youngest player ever chosen for the cover of the NHL franchise and his image will be on the front of all packaging when NHL 10 is available in North American retail stores this September.

Having emerged as one of the most skilled players in the NHL in just two seasons, Kane won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in 2008 and this year led the Blackhawks to the Western Conference Finals. He has scored more than 20 goals and registered more than 70 points in each of his first two seasons.

“It’s exciting to be on the cover of my favorite videogame after playing just my second year as a professional,” said Kane. “When you look back at some of the great players who have had this opportunity, it’s an honor to be a part of the EA SPORTS family and contribute to a game I’ve been playing for more than 10 years.”

EA SPORTS also announced that it has signed Canadian junior hockey scoring sensation John Tavares, expected to be the top pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, to promote the release of NHL 10. Tavares will join Kane, the first overall draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, as spokespersons for NHL 10.

“It’s exciting for me to team up with Patrick to promote EA SPORTS and get the chance to play NHL 10 before it’s in stores,” said Tavares. “Now I’m looking forward to the draft and finding out which team will select me.”

“At EA SPORTS we believe in identifying the most talented up-and-coming athletes in the world to help us develop the most authentic sports games,” said Jordan Edelstein, Vice-President of Marketing for EA SPORTS. “We believe Kane is one of the next great American hockey stars and Tavares will have an immediate impact in the league.”

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was earlier named a cover athlete on NHL 10 packaging in Sweden. Additional regional cover athletes for Finland, Denmark and Switzerland will be named at a later date. NHL 10 will be in retail stores across Europe on September 18.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Kane is just the second American-born player to be featured on the cover of the top-selling* EA SPORTS hockey videogame franchise. New York Rangers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck was the first when he was featured on the cover of NHL 97.

The EA SPORTS NHL® franchise has won 19 Sports Game of the Year awards over the past two years and this month named by Gamespot.com as the Best Sports Game of E3. This year the NHL 10 franchise begins a new era with gameplay innovations that deliver all-new board play, first-person fighting and over 200 gameplay refinements that replicate the skill and finesse of NHL hockey.

For more info please visit http://beta.easports.com/

NHL 10 will be available for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system with an MSRP of $59.99. It is developed by EA Canada in Burnaby, B.C. The game is rated E10+.

CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency, brokered the deals on behalf of clients Kane and Tavares.

EA SPORTS™ is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world, with top-selling titles and franchises including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football, and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®.

*Based on total sales in 2008 according to the NPD.

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Samit Sarkar,
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