EA's annual hockey series returns to the ice with different ways to play, major additions to existing modes, and more authentic goaltending in NHL 17. Gamers can take part in the World Cup of Hockey tournament for the first time, form the best teams possible with the fantasy style Draft Champions mode, or play with any of the 27 authentic ECHL teams. Players can also try their hand at being a general manager in the Franchise mode, and creative types can now design their own arenas. The EA Sports Hockey League team mode returns with more customization options, while the Be a Pro mode features career-defining moments, and the card-collecting Hockey Ultimate Team mode introduces the team-building HUT Synergy system. Gameplay adjustments include improved passing, more responsive skating and stopping, enhanced hit mechanics, and net battles, while goalies have improved positional awareness to make athletic or technical saves.