New details for the NHL 20 Franchise Mode have been unveiled by EA Games bringing some new features to one of the more “traditional” modes in the series. This includes the addition of coaches, line chemistry, a new conversation system, and new scouting reports that all tie together to give your team the synergy they need to dominate the NHL. Additionally, there is now Trade Finder which will make the trading process much less tedious.
You can find all the other changes being made to the NHL 20 Franchise Mode at the bottom of the page, but we’ll go over the highlights before that.
NHL 20 Franchise Mode Highlights | Coaches and interviews
Coaches are a brand new feature coming to the NHL 20 Franchise Mode. When you begin a franchise, there will be a number of pre-made coaches for you to choose from. While it is not specifically stated, there is no mention of player-created coaches since they are all generated when you begin a franchise.
Coaches have their own ratings as well. Unlike a player rating, which is represented by an overall number determined by the rating of their attributes, a coach’s rating is broken up into six different attributes: Offense, Defense, Powerplay, Penalty kill, Teaching, and Influence. Each attribute will have a grade, like a report card, that indicates how well that facet of their coaching is.
Each one of those attributes impacts the team both in how they play on the ice and how they develop skills in those areas. For example, if your coach has an “A” in Offense, your team’s offense, both in terms of gameplay and during simulations, will be good; if they have a “C” in Offense, the team’s offense may be a bit lackluster.
Each coach will also have a Teaching Specialty. This is represented by a broad term that indicates what kind of player the coach prefers to teach. For example, in the picture above, the Vancouver Canucks coach’s Teaching Specialty says “Generalist.” According to the short sentence below the title, this says that the coach will “help develop and grow all players on your team.”
Similar to players, coaches also have morale. This shows how your coach feels about the team and his role as a coach. There are four different morale meters which affect what the coach’s overall morale is. These meters include Team Performance, Management, Coaching Staff, and Player Relationships. With those four aspects in mind, that means actions both on the ice and off the ice will affect a coach’s morale.
Before hiring a coach for your franchise, you can now interview them before hiring them. This gives you the opportunity to see if the coach is a good fit for your team. Information you may gather from an interview includes the type of team they want to coach, the preferred market, and preferred fan base. This interviewing process also extends to prospects you wish to draft.
In terms of how coaches affect the mode outside of what you can control, other teams can hire and fire coaches during any given season. Like you would expect, dismissing a coach is usually due to them not meeting the team’s expectations. Additionally, NHL players who retire can become coaches, putting them behind the boards instead of in front of them.
NHL 20 Franchise Mode Highlights | Scheme fit and line chemistry
The Scheme Fit is essentially a summary of how the players on your team fit in their lines. A number of factors influence how well your players synergize with their current line, including the coach’s strategy for a lineup, the play style of the players, and the preferred position of the players.
Scheme Fit mainly influences your Line Chemistry. As you can see in the picture above, each lineup has a Line Chemistry. Ranging from -5 to +5, this number indicates how well that lineup works together during gameplay moments, as well as simulated games. You can also see what kind of impact a player has on the line to the right of the lineups.
For example, the above shows Bo Horvat in the second lineup. This particular lineup has a Line Chemistry of +1 meaning this will positively affect how that lineup plays together. To the right of the lineups, you see “Line Chemistry Impact” which shows certain facets of that lineups game; next to that, you see “B. Horvat Line Fit” which shows if that player has a negative or positive impact on the facets from the Line Chemistry Impact sections.
NHL 20 Franchise Mode Highlights | New scouting reports
With Line Chemistry being an important part of how well your team plays, it’s important to make sure that you draft players that fit your coach’s vision. This is where the new scouting reports come in.
The Pro Scout Assessment is an important tool when trying to find pro players who you wish to draft. While it’s nice to have a player with a good overall rating, they may not fit the coach’s current scheme for the team. It’s also possible that you may scout someone with a lower overall rating, but they have the potential to synergize well with the team. The Pro Scout Assessment will help you choose that as it may indicate that a player may or may not be a good fit for the team.
The Amateur Scout Assessment is similar but includes “NHL ETA” and Scheme Fit. The NHL ETA tells you whether that player is ready to go pro. The Scheme Fit will show you what kind of strategies the player prefers to use giving you an idea if they fit with your coach’s scheme.
NHL 20 Franchise Mode Highlights | Trade finder
The Trade Finder is a new feature in NHL 20 that may expedite the trading process. Instead of proposing a series of trades to a particular team/teams, you can now select who you want to trade, and then get offers from other teams. If you are looking to pick up a specific player from a different team, you can also select the desired player and find out what you would need to offer in order to successfully complete the trade.
“Other Changes” to NHL 20 Franchise Mode
- PTS/G Trade Value Mod – This gives players trade value boost or penalties based on how they are performing during the year. Players playing well can be traded for more value in trades and vice versa (goalies use SV%).
- PTS/G Salary Mod – Performance based Salaries; Players who do exceptionally well will ask for a lot more money. In some sims players reaching 100+ points and asks for 10 million dollars, in other sims the same player has sub 1.00 PPTS/G and asks for ~8 million. This should also fix the issue where players who are in the minors and ask for 2M+ without ever playing in the NHL.
- Teams will now put bad contracts on the trade block to free up cap space if an RFA (Restricted Free Agent) player wants a contract extension and they don’t have cap space.
- Goalies are now worth less than skaters in regards to trade value and we have improved goalie signing and trading logic in Free Agency.
- Players with 1 year left on their deals will have less value as the season goes on. So at the Trade Deadline, players with 1 year left will be worth less than full value and at the NHL Draft, these players will be worth significantly less.
- Players with bad value can be traded with addition of sweeteners to a trade. Increased the Bad Contract Mod so players with bad contracts require a lot to be added so a team will accept the trade.
- Added exception contracts to the game. So players in the QMJHL, WHL and OHL don’t count towards the 50 man contract limit.
- Added a Trade Alert popup that stops the sim if someone in the league makes a big trade.
- Added a Sim Engine scoring Setting; increases scoring or decreases scoring based on the setting (High, Med, Low). The default is set to medium.
- Wingers are now worth less than centers and defensemen in regards to trade value.
- We decreased Scout efficiency so now you won’t have full info on all the draft-eligible at the end of the year. This should stop users from stacking Elite players in the NHL Draft.
- Tuned Down the number of Elite and Franchise potential goalies in the draft.
- Tuned the distribution of medium grade prospects so they are a little more hit and miss.
- Added Scout Recommendations to the View Draft Class Screen.
- Tuned the trade blocks of CPU teams wants/gives.
- Added original placements to the Draft Lottery popup.
- Added an ‘Add contract year’ setting for Expansion Custom Rosters flow.
- Added ‘Auto-Owner mode’ setting which takes care of arena maintenance.