Game Guides

NHL 21 – How to Get Traded

by Kenny Keelan


One of the best parts of how NHL 21’s Be A Pro mode handles drafting, is that you can start your career any which way you like: you can start in the CHL, the NHL, or in a European league. If you start in the NHL you can start your career on whatever NHL roster you want, however, expectations are a little bit higher right from the jump. If you start in a European league or in the CHL, the expectations put upon you depends on your performance prior to being drafted in the NHL but you are almost certain to be drafted in the top three, meaning you couldn’t really control where you’re at in the draft cycle.

For example, when I started my Be A Pro career, I was hoping to be drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, who had a fourth position in the Draft Lottery and my play wasn’t amazing, something I did intentionally: being good enough to get into the top five but not enough to go in the top three, by compare to guys like Lafrenière and Byfield. No matter what I did, I was drafted in the top three. Drafts happened a little more realistically in previous entries but with how the conversation was implemented this year, I suppose a realistic draft was not going to happen. There was some talk of how the last season ended and the Draft happened right before the release of the game, due to NHLPA contract signing timing, that resulted in this happening the way it did, so, here we are, I guess.

That brought me to another question, then: how do you get traded so that way you have realistic rookie expectations placed upon you and still go to a team you like? Well, right now, there’s not really a definitive way as there’s a lot of factors that determine whether or not you’ll even be considered for trading, much less be accepted as part of a trade. Hell, for a time, you couldn’t even request a trade. What I can do, though, here, is give you some help to make the journey of going to the team you want to go to as smooth as possible.

Play Where You’re Drafted

You’re going to want to spend some time on the team you’re drafted on. As unappealing as that might sound, that reflects a real life situation where you’re going to want to build reputation, value, and bolster your numbers as much as possible before you throw yourself on the trading block. The best way to do that is to manage the expectations of you through the challenge and conversation systems. While managing your Brand points probably aren’t as important as your Teammate and Management points when considering building your foundations, as a player, Brand does play an important part in whether or not you will bring fans to the arena.

The game myself didn’t really ever give me a certain time period that I could realistically ask for a trade but it seems playing a whole season where you’re drafted is the bare minimum before you’re even fielding your first offer sheet. You’ll automatically be put on the market once your first contract ends so you could always just play it out until your contract ends, but then you’re being signed as a free agent and not being traded.

Bolster Your Star Power

Since you’re basically up against the likes of Lafrenière and Byfield in the Calder race, there’s a lot of expectation for you to take home that historical rookie trophy as well as the Stanley Cup and if you play a vital role in the Cup run, your value will go up and your desirability as a player will grow. The two best ways to do this is to keep your stats up, continually hit as many challenges as you can, and make certain you’re fulfilling your role. For example, as a Power Forward, it’s expected that I use my physical strength to make plays, meaning that I have to throw my weight around and move the puck around in the offensive zone as well as being a competent defenseman, as well. The more I fulfill that role, the more appealing I am.

There Are No Guarantees

The more desirable you are as a player might not guarantee that your team will want to give you up, realistically. Even if you start fielding offers from other teams, that doesn’t guarantee the team you’re on will accept the terms of the trade, so try to keep that in mind, as you will not want to overstate your ability and your contribution.

Hopefully, over the course of the next year, NHL 21 will continue to update and tweak Be A Pro mode and give us a little bit more of a definitive idea of what it takes to be traded but until then, this is what we have.

Until then, you can check out our review of NHL 21 and see our guide to winning faceoffs!

- This article was updated on:November 17th, 2020

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