NHL 22 features 50 Superstar X-Factor players. Each gets one of 26 Zone abilities and several Superstar abilities, setting them apart from the league.
As the October 15 release date for NHL 22 approaches, EA has revealed the game’s Superstar X-Factor abilities. There are 50 players with these abilities to start, and there are 26 different abilities in total. Game-changing NHL 22 Superstar X-Factor abilities make the league’s top athletes more noticeable on the ice and allow players to harness their talents.
Joining Superstar X-Factor abilities are many other features new to this year’s NHL installment. NHL 22’s biggest gameplay improvements include upgrades to graphics and presentation, and the switch to the Frostbite engine will purportedly make gameplay feel more realistic and immersive.
The Superstar X-Factor abilities in NHL 22 are broken down into two tiers: Zone abilities and Superstar abilities. Both sets encompass the same 26 abilities, but Zone abilities are more powerful versions of Superstar abilities. Each player has one Zone ability that defines their playstyle, plus multiple Superstar abilities that are always active. The combination of these superpowers helps separate the stars from the rest of the league.
All 26 NHL 22 Superstar X-Factor Abilities
Only the top 50 players have Superstar X-Factor abilities, so the 26 abilities are distributed amongst these league stars. There are four abilities for skating, seven for shooting, four for passing, three for defending, four for goaltending, and four for hockey IQ.
- Wheels: No agility, speed, or acceleration penalties while skating with the puck.
- Elite Edges: Make tight turns anywhere on the ice without sacrificing maneuverability or speed.
- Ankle Breaker: Deke opponents at top speed without any penalty whatsoever.
- In Reverse: As good skating backward as skating forwards, and can switch to back skating on a dime without any penalty to speed or acceleration.
- Make It Snappy: Huge boost to power and accuracy when taking snapshots while skating.
- Shnipe: Settle shots more easily and get additional shot accuracy and power on shots after settling.
- One Tee: Huge boost to power and accuracy on one-time shots, even off a bad pass.
- Thunder Clap: Extra power and accuracy on slap shots from the point.
- Heatseeker: Massively increased power and accuracy on wrist and snapshots from the point.
- Beauty Backhand: Enhanced power and accuracy for backhand shots.
- Shock and Awe: Exceptional power and accuracy shooting out of, or slightly after, a successful deke.
- Tape to Tape: Ability to auto-saucer, and get increased backhand accuracy and reduced power penalties on passes within the passer’s vision.
- Send It: Huge increase to pass assist and ability to auto-saucer long-distance passes.
- Magnetic: Pick up loose pucks with speed and corral bouncing or rolling pucks easily, as well as poor passes.
- Third Eye: Hit seemingly impossible passes to teammates outside the passer’s field of vision.
- Yoink!: Higher stick lift success rate and longer recovery time for the puck handler.
- Stick ‘Em Up: Higher success rate with the Defensive Skill Stick, even against momentum or at speed.
- Shutdown: Huge boost to defensive abilities when taking on the puck carrier one-on-one.
- Contortionist: Increased save range, recovery, and ability while in spread V with or against momentum.
- All Or Nothing: High success rate (including range, accuracy, and recovery) at poke checks in front of the goal.
- Dialed In: After making 15 saves in a game, receive a major boost to goalie reaction time, recovery, and save ability for the rest of the game.
- Post To Post: Impressive boost to reaction time, recovery, and save ability when going post to post.
- Puck On A String: Lightning-quick stickhandling moves and toe drags.
- Quick Pick: Increased puck interception rate and range.
- All Alone: Increased accuracy and power on penalty shots and breakaways.
- Quick Draw: High success rate on faceoffs, with extra quickness on face-off draws, increased effectiveness on tie-up wins, and a big advantage in defensive zone draws.
All 50 NHL 22 Superstar X-Factor Players
While there are 50 total Superstar X-Factor players to start the year in NHL 22, not every team is represented, as the Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Ducks, Kraken, Senators, and Sharks are without a single X-Factor player. The Lightning lead the way with five X-Factors, while the Avalanche and Blackhawks each have four.
- Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: Ankle Breaker
- Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche: Tape to Tape
- Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche: Elite Edges
- Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche: Crease Crasher
- Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks: Puck on a String
- Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks: Quick Pick
- Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks: Make It Snappy
- Marc Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks: All or Nothing
- Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues: Quick Draw
- David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins: Shnipe
- Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins: Make It Snappy
- Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins: Yoink!
- Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens: Post to Post
- Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks: Third Eye
- John Carlson, Washington Capitals: Thunderclap
- Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: One Tee
- Dougie Hamilton, New Jersey Devils: Heatseeker
- Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames: It’s Tricky
- Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers: Stick ‘Em Up
- Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights: Yoink!
- Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights: Shutdown
- Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights: Heatseeker
- Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes: Shutdown
- Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes: Third Eye
- Matt Barzal, New York Islanders: Elite Edges
- Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets: Shnipe
- Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets: Dialed In
- Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets: Thunderclap
- Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings: Quick Pick
- Andrei Vasilevskly, Tampa Bay Lightning: Contortionist
- Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning: Stick ‘Em Up
- Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning: Make It Snappy
- Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning: Wheels
- Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: One Tee
- Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs: Shock and Awe
- Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs: Third Eye
- Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers: Tape to Tape
- Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: Wheels
- Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers: Tape to Tape
- Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers: All Alone
- Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins: Shnipe
- Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins: In Reverse
- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins: Beauty Backhand
- Roman Josi, Nashville Predators: Send It
- Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers: Magnetic
- Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers: Make It Snappy
- Adam Fox, New York Rangers: Tape to Tape
- Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres: Make It Snappy
- Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars: Big Tipper
- Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild: Tape to Tape
Because the number of Superstar X-Factor players was capped at 50, not every star could be included. However, there are certainly a few surprising exclusions. The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin would have been a good fit for the One Tee ability; the Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom could’ve had any of the passing abilities; and Philipp Grubauer seems deserving of an X-Factor, being a Vezina Award finalist last season. Regardless, the players who did make the cut will be the difference-makers in NHL 22 matches.
NHL 22 releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on October 15.
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