The fall 2010 release of NHL 11 is still far off, but already, EA Sports is putting out bits and pieces of information on the game. Earlier this week, EA Canada updated the franchise's Facebook page with the screenshot you see above: it's a hip check that's meant to show off the new real-time physics engine in NHL 11. As someone who's familiar with the series, I can tell you that hit doesn't look like the canned hip check animation of NHL games past, so it certainly appears promising.
This evening, EA announced a partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), a deal that will see NHL titles for the next four years include teams and players from the three regional leagues that comprise the CHL: the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The CHL is the top source of NHL talent: with 51 Canadian and nine American teams of 16- to 20-year-olds, it provided 47% of the players selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
EA Sports' NHL games have featured European hockey leagues for a while now, so it only makes sense for them to add the CHL, especially since fans who follow hockey very closely will recognize the names of the upper-echelon CHL kids. But what does CHL integration mean for NHL 11 players? Well, the new league will tie in to many of the game's modes, such as Be A Pro, Be A GM, Tournament, Season, and Playoffs.
NHL 11 is due out this fall for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.