Connor McDavid Headlines EA Sports' NHL 22 Team of the Year

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2022

ELMONT, NEW YORK - JANUARY 01: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers plays the puck against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on January 01, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NHLI via Getty Images)
Michelle Farsi/NHLI via Getty Images

EA Sports' NHL 22 has named six players to its Team of the Year, a group that unsurprisingly includes Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.

The list also includes fellow forwards Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche and Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins. The defensive players were the Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman and New York Rangers' Adam Fox, while Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning was the top goaltender.

Fans can add these players to their Hockey Ultimate Team rosters in the video game, while the players receive "limited-edition, one-of-a-kind pieces of equipment."

The Team of the Year honor went to players who excelled over the calendar year of 2021, rather than an NHL season.

Regardless of time frame, McDavid was a shoo-in as the top offensive player in the league. The 24-year-old tallied an NHL-best 105 points during the 2020-21 season, winning the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. He has kept it going in 2021-22 with 53 points through 32 games, including 34 assists and 19 goals.

Marchand made his fourth All-Star team last season, totaling 29 goals and 40 assists, and has been one of the most consistent performers in the NHL.

Rantanen wasn't as prolific offensively, but he was the top scorer (30 goals) on the Avalanche last season as they tied for the NHL lead with 82 points. His 15 goals this season also lead the team.

Defensively, the Lightning were well represented after winning their second Stanley Cup in a row.

Vasilevskiy lost out on the Vezina Trophy to Marc-Andre Fleury last year, but he took home the Conn Smythe after posting a 1.90 goals-against average in the postseason with five shutouts. Hedman was a key part of Tampa Bay's success as well as a perennial contender for the Norris Trophy, making his fifth All-Star team last year. 

Fox won the Norris Trophy in 2020-21 as the NHL's top defender, and he has 28 assists in 33 games this season. 

The Team of the Year left off notable names like Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon and Alex Ovechkin, but only a select few could earn a spot on the exclusive list.