Attributes for Forwards and Defensemen

The following lists the different player attributes and their relative importance. Everyone will value these attributes differently based on their own preferred style of play, but I believe grouping these attributes into the categories “high”, “medium”, and “low” in terms of importance works. Also, you have to separate Forwards from Defensemen, as these players are used differently by both the AI and player, and hence different attributes matter or less between the two.

Weight

Determines checking ability/resistance (lighter is better) and player acceleration.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – HIGH
Defensemen – HIGH

Arguably the most important attribute in the entire game.   Weight is the sole determinant of checking ability and resistance.  The Sega Genesis version has a weight bug, which makes lighter guys super-valuable (see: weight bug section).  A player can consistently body check someone who is 2 values lower. Weight also affects acceleration.  Lighter guys can accelerate faster than heavier guys, so this must be looked at in conjunction with the Speed attribute. It also affects agility.

There are 2 forwards with a 3 weight:

  • Andrei Kovalenko (QUE)
  • Theo Fleury (CGY)

And 16 others with 4 weight.

There are 3 defenseman with 4 weight, and 7 others with 5 weight.

  • Don Sweeney (BOS)
  • Gord Hynes (FLA/PHI)
  • Tom Pedersen (SJ)

Agility

How quickly a player stops and turns, deking ability. Also affects acceleration

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – HIGH
Defensemen – HIGH

This is a generally underrated attribute, but it’s extremely important. High agility, particularly relative to speed, makes deking easier, great for scoring deke goals. It’s been noted that a player with higher agility also accelerates faster once he’s moving.

Forwards with 6 agility:

  • Alexander Mogilny (BUF)
  • Steve Yzerman (DET)
  • Wayne Gretzky (LA)

Defensemen with 6 agility

  • Brian Leetch (NYR)
  • Paul Coffey (DET)
  • Phil Housely (WPG)

Speed

How quickly a player achieves top speed (acceleration)

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – HIGH
Defense – HIGH

One of the key attributes that everyone looks at, speed is greatly valued for both forwards and defensemen.  This is commonly thought of as “top speed’”, but in reality every player has the same top speed.  This attribute determines how quickly a player achieves that top speed, more like acceleration.   Weight also has an effect on acceleration, so a 5 speed heavy player may not accelerate as fast as a 4 speed lighter player.

Forwards with 6 speed

  • Peter Bondra (WSH)
  • Pavel Bure (VAN)
  • Russ Courtnall (DAL)
  • Alexander Mogilny (BUF)
  • Teemu Selanne (WPG)

There are no defensemen with 6 speed, but two have 5 speed:

  • Phil Housely (WPG)
  • Paul Coffey (DET)

Shot Power

Self explanatory

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – MED
Defense – MED/LOW

Shot power is yet another key attribute.  A player with a 4 shot power has enough strength in his shot to consistently beat goalies on a slapshot from the top of the faceoff circle.  The drop from 4 to 3 is the most dramatic, as a 3 shot is relatively weak and not a threat to most goalies.  Still respectable with a one-timer, but just not as successful.  Most important stat for slapshots, which are not a high percentage play, and moreso for forwards, who will be doign 90% of your scoring.

Brett Hull is the only forward with 6 shot power!

Defensemen with the max howitzer:

  • Al MacInnis (CGY)
  • Al Iafrate (WSH)
  • Doug Wilson (SJ)

Shot Accuracy

Self explanatory

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – MED
Defense – LOW

While shot accuracy is an important attribute, it’s just as important as some of the other attributes.  One-timers tend to become very accurate, and dekes from in close don’t need much accuracy to find the back of the net.  Where you may start seeing this come up more is in slapshots.  Low accuracy will result in your slappers flying wider more often.

Shot accuracy remains low for defensemen for two reasons.  One, very few defensemen have accuracy rated higher than 2 and second, you will not be relying on your defensemen for scoring as much as forwards.

Stickhandling

One of the more undervalued attributes, stickhandling gives the ability to receive pass, hold onto puck when poked/held, wobble/toddle more when getting checked versus falling down.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – HIGH
Defense – MED

There are times when a player gets checked and instead of falling down, he wobbles a bit and keeps going.  That is the result of high stickhandling and it can be the difference between a great scoring chance or the end of your rush.

It’s also how “sticky”* the puck becomes.  Higher stickhandling reduces the chances of the puck being poked away as well.

Pass Accuracy

Determines how accurate a player passes the puck.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW
Defense – LOW

It’s really unclear just how much the passing rating affects players and it’s importance.  While it’s probably good to have higher passing, this attribute is not nearly as important as some of the other attributes.

Off Awareness

Thought to give AI better positioning for one-timers. It’s thought that high awareness means players are more likely to stay outside of defensive zone, positioned for breakaways.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW/MED
Defense – LOW

Def Awareness

Believed to cause AI players close down to their own net, play closer in the defensive zone.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW
Defense – MED

Checking

How often AI checks.  The higher the check rating, the more frequently your AI person will attempt a check.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW
Defense – LOW/MED

A popular misconception is that the checking rating determines a player’s ability to check.  As mentioned earlier, weight is the main factor that determines check success.  The check rating looks to influence the frequency of AI checks.  When the AI is using Messier, Stevens, Bourque (all have 5+ check rating), they are laying out hits much more often than others.

Aggressiveness

This is a leftover attribute from ’93. Determines how likely a player is to fight.  Unsure if this does anything in ’94.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW
Defense – LOW

Endurance

Determines how quickly your player’s energy depletes when playing with line changes. Not important, even with line changes.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW
Defense – LOW

(hidden stat)- Passing Bias/Roughness (in NOSE)

There is a hidden attribute in the code that is not displayed in the game.  It’s believed to be passing bias for the AI — the higher the stat, the more passing the AI will attempt.  NOSE calls this stat “Roughness”.

IMPORTANCE
Forwards – LOW
Defense – LOW

 

One thought on “Attributes for Forwards and Defensemen”

  1. The awarenesses are wrong. You can do a frame by frame test and see how awarenesses affect how a player reacts to team with the puck and without the puck.

    I have not found offensive awareness to contribute to positioning on offensive zone directly. Someone like Joel Otto likes to park right next to the net for onetimers where as someone like Cam Neely stays quite far closer to the borders for poor angle shots. Offensive awareness does not explain this. Perhaps it is about playstyle, but it’s definately something indirect to offensive awareness.

    Defensive awareness has a another purpose on though. A high def awareness will steal the puck from a high stickhandling skater even by skating next to it, no need to press any buttons, just shadow with skating. Players with defensive awareness 4+ seem to be fairly good at intercepting opponent passes as well. Some exceptions with players like Coffey & Housley with 3 but with other standout attributes, perhaps latter is a combination of something.

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