Ah yes, those controversial video game ratings are back.
EA Sports has released its top 50 individual ratings for “NHL 20,” and Sharks fans will see a few familiar faces among the game's elite.
Checking in at No. 21 and No. 24 respectively are San Jose’s pair of elite defenders, Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns. It’s a pretty easy decision, with the two being commonly regarded as two of the best defensemen in the NHL.
A magician on the backend, @ErikKarlsson65 leads all defensemen with a 95 rating in Deking, Passing and Puck Control! Karlsson is easily the top offensive option on any blueline. #NHL20Top50 @SanJoseSharks pic.twitter.com/SrzyW8kAJX— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) August 29, 2019
Fear the Beard. @Burnzie88 highlights a stacked blueline for the @SanJoseSharks! With over a point-per-game last season, the sky is the limit in #NHL20 for the offensive defenseman. #NHL20Top50 pic.twitter.com/ghD3BdciHi— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) August 29, 2019
However, there are a few other Sharks who seem like somewhat questionable omissions from this list.
Tomáš Hertl, for example, blew his career highs out of the water in 2018-19, as he finished with 35 assists and 39 goals. His 74 total points was a full 28 points higher than he put up in 2017-18, despite playing two more games that season.
Hertl was an 83 in “NHL 19”, but at just 25 years old, he most certainly deserves at least a few more points after the season he just put together.
30-year-old Logan Couture is another snub by the “NHL 20” ratings committee. Couture also produced a personal-best in points, as he pumped out 70 in leading the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
What a postseason Couture had, as he led all players with 14 goals, despite missing the final championship round after the Sharks were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals.
Couture was an 85 in “NHL 19,” but after a playoff performance like that, you’d think he might get enough of a bump to climb into that illustrious Top 50.
Even so, the Sharks will still likely be one of the best teams in “NHL 20” after just missing the Stanley Cup Final, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see either Couture or Hertl find themselves in the top-50 by season’s end.