This article will be a deep dive into the details of the HUT Fantasy Hockey Event that runs from September 27th until October 11th.
How do the cards work?
The way that these cards work are similar to evolution cards that we have seen before in HUT. The Fantasy cards will upgrade throughout the season but only based on the following conditions:
Skaters will upgrade when they score a goal during a NHL, SHL or Liiga game.
Goalies will upgrade when they record a victory while in the lineup of their NHL, SHL or Liiga team.
Each goal or victory award the player card with a +1 OVR upgrade.
Also note that playoff and cup games will not contribute towards the upgrades of these cards.
As always with a new event, there is a new batch of sets and also hut challenges. I’ll go through each of the sets and also take you through the solo challenges and give an evaluation if they are worth completing considering various factors.
The first set requires you to exchange 50 gold players for a Gold Collectible, this is a set I personally would recommend avoiding simply because you get a better value doing a similar Icon Collectible set. Icon Collectibles are currently valued at almost double of the Gold Collectible and the requirement for the sets are the same, I would rather go for the Icon set.
The set I advise you to avoid at all costs requires you to give up six Gold Collectibles (adding up to 210,000 coins) for a 33% chance at any of these cards. More than likely you are paying over 200k coins for a base gold card when for that price you can have a shot at an 88 Teemu Selanne or Joe Sakic who would be a mainstay in your squads.
I would also stay away from the next two sets, which require you to trade in either 16 Gold Collectibles for a 1 in 3 choice pack or 18 Gold Collectibles for an Ilya Kovalchuk master item. Ilya Kovalchuk has a very sleek card design with very nice synergies which are 1 point for 1T, 1 point for SP and 1 point for BM. 1T and SP are arguably the two most effective synergies in the game as they improve your whole team when activated. The downfall of this card is his price as mentioned. 18 collectibles add up to a total of 630,000 and in that same price range you could be looking at a Gretzky or Lemieux which are much better cards right now. Last season Kovalchuk scored 16 goals in the regular season which would make him a 96 OVR - that’s a great card without a doubt, but keep in mind this kind of production happens over the course of the season, so you’ll have to wait on your investment to reach its full potential.
The best two sets to complete are the Fantasy Hockey Collectible set and the Fantasy Hockey Prospect set. You will earn a Gold Collectible from the Fantasy Hockey Collectible set, as you can earn these Fantasy Hockey Collectibles through solo challenges each weekday over the course of the event, this is a good way to stack up on Gold Collectibles. In the Prospect set you exchange a gold collectible for a Fantasy Hockey Prospect choice pack. Just keep in mind only NHL, SHL and Liiga goals or wins count towards the OVR boost, so stay sharp on who you’re picking.
Apart from the collectible challenges there are 10 base challenges to complete from these you will earn 6 packs which are base packs and mini packs. If you have around 2 hours free to complete these i would recommend them because you will get 6 free packs and there is always the opportunity to pull top tier cards from these packs. If you are pressed for time i would stay away from these as the rewards aren't as great as you would get from doing competitive seasons game or squad battles games.
Item lineup (projected overall for the season)
Below you can find a list of current Fantasy Hockey items with their current overall and their projected final overall based on their performance last season.
Master set Ilya Kovalchuk, RW - 80 OVR (96)
Kris Letang, RD - 82 OVR (98)
David Krejci, C - 77 OVR (97)
Teuvo Teravainen, LW - 76 OVR (97)
Ryan Johansen, C - 82 OVR (96)
Shea Weber, RD - 78 OVR (92)
Seth Jones, RD - 83 OVR (92)
Ivan Barbashev, C - 77 OVR (91)
Mikko Kousa, RD - 83 OVR (91)
James Neal, RW - 79 OVR (86)
Milan Lucic, LW - 79 OVR (85)
Taylor Hall, LW - 72 (83)
Jimmy Howard, G - 75 OVR (98)
Henri Jokiharju, RD - 83 OVR (83)
Alexander Nylander, RW - 79 OVR (82)
Martin Necas, C - 79 OVR (80)
Filip Zadina, RW - 79 OVR (80)
Eeli Tolvanen, LW - 79 OVR (80)
Cal Petersen, G - 76 OVR (87)
Who to buy from the market?
Kris Letang is the first card I would be looking at in the expensive section of this event, you can currently find him around the 250k mark on the market and I can see him having a successful season ending up in the high 90's eventually, which will boost his value by a whole bunch. A great card if you're willing to invest.
Jimmy Howard is also a good pick up for around 250k. Last year he went on to amass 23 wins, which would put him at the 98 OVR mark and it's hard to see the wings not picking up at least 20 wins even though they are one of the less talented teams in the NHL as of now.
As we head over to Europe and take a look at Mikko Kousa, I believe he is the sleeper card in this wave of Fantasy Hockey items. Last season he hit 8 goals which would take him to a 91 OVR, but in the seasons before he has hit highs of 12 goals, which would take him to a 95 OVR. For 150k you can not go wrong with this pick up also considering he starts at a 83 OVR so he will be able to slot in your squad right from when you pick him up.
Cards to avoid
Taylor Hall should be avoided, not because of his stats or potential but because of his price. If you can pick up this card for under 300k it will be a good investment but right now he is at 600k which is one of the more expensive cards in the game, he starts off as a 72 OVR so he will not be useful until he gets at least over 10 goals which is the downfall of this card. The only way this investment will work is if you are willing to wait, he will more than likely be playing with Jack Hughes, who has been on fire during preseason and this could push Hall to have a career high season. It is also his contract year so he will be looking to show the devils his true worth.
Cal Petersen has already been sent down to the AHL which is a simple reason to avoid him, because he won't see NHL action to upgrade this card. The only way this card will reach its value would be if one of LA’s starters ended up injured and he got some game time, but we will have to wait and see if this card will come good.
What will we see added next week?
Next week EA will drop more fantasy cards (11 NHL players, 1 SHL player) and I can see a theme with these cards. Most of the cards are either starting out at a low overall or are for players who are either expected to be high risk/high reward picks or might not amass too many goals or wins.
Also, it is notable that all defensemen in the first week are playing on the right side. It might just be a coincidence but some left defensemen should be included in the release for the second week.
Here are some cards I could see being included in next weeks Fantasy Hockey release:
Jack Hughes - New Jersey Devils
Kaapo Kakko - New York Rangers
Charlie Mcavoy - Boston Bruins
Auston Matthews - Toronto Maple Leafs
Corey Perry - Dallas Stars
Cam Fowler - Anaheim Ducks
Oskari Laaksonen - Tampereen IIves
Niko Ojamaki - Tampereen Tappara
Oscar Moller - Skelleftea AIK
Linus Hultstrom - Djurgardens IF
David Rittich - Calgary Flames
That'll be it for this time, I'm enjoying the idea of Fantasy Hockey very much. It's kind of bringing dynamic ratings to HUT, but not quite. Which card do you think will be the best value? What do you think about this event? Give us your thoughts in the comments!