There are two things we get excited for before a sports video game is actually released. The first is finding out who the cover athlete will be, and the second is finding out what songs are going to be in the game.

For NHL 18, we know who who will be on the cover as it was announced at the NHL awards in June.

#ConnorMcDavid has been named the cover althete of #NHL18 🏒

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We don't know, however, the music we'll be hearing. With that in mind, we thought we would take it upon ourselves to create the ultimate EA Sports NHL video game soundtrack featuring three songs from every game since NHL 2003, the first year EA Trax was introduced.

The reason for the choice of three songs, we wanted to stay true to hockey's roots by using a 3-Star format. Enjoy!

NHL 2003

1st Star - Jimmy Eat World, "Sweetness"
2nd Star - Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows"
3rd Star - Trapt, "Headstrong"

NHL 2004

1st Star - Gob, "Oh! Ellin"
2nd Star - Autopilot Off, "Clockwork"
3rd Star - Bowling For Soup, "Punk Rock 101"

NHL 2005

1st Star - Sugarcult, "Memory"
2nd Star - Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out"
3rd Star - Ash, "Orpheus"

NHL 06

1st Star - Billy Talent, "Red Flag"
2nd Star - Fall Out Boy, "Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued"
3rd Star - Avenged Sevenfold, "Bat Country"

NHL 07

1st Star - Anti-Flag, "This Is The End (For You My Friend)"
2nd Star - Priestess, "Talk To Her"
3rd Star - Quietdrive, "Rise From The Ashes"

NHL 08

1st Star - Anberlin, "A Whisper and a Clamor"
2nd Star - Paramore, "Misery Business"
3rd Star - Disco Ensemble, "This Is My Head Exploding"

NHL 09

1st Star - Black Tide, "Warriors Of Time"
2nd Star - Panic At The Disco, "Nine In The Afternoon"
3rd Star - Airbourne, "Runnin' Wild"

NHL 10

1st Star - Alexisonfire, "Young Cardinals"
2nd Star - Thousand Foot Krutch, "Fire It Up"
3rd Star - Green Day, "Know Your Enemy"

NHL 11

1st Star - Dropkick Murphys, "I'm Shipping Up To Boston"
2nd Star - The Black Keys, "Howlin' For You"
3rd Star - Danko Jones, "Full Of Regret"

NHL 12

1st Star - Manchester Orchestra, "April Fool"
2nd Star - Dropkick Murphys, "Hang 'Em High"
3rd Star - Black Tide, "That Fire"

NHL 13

1st Star - Arkells, "Whistleblower"
2nd Star - Classified, "Run With Me"
3rd Star - Monster Truck, "Seven Seas Blues"

NHL 14

1st Star - Wolfmother, "Joker And The Thief"
2nd Star - Black Veil Brides, "In The End"
3rd Star - Rise Against, "Lanterns"

NHL 15

1st Star - Death From Above 1979, "Trainwreck 1979"
2nd Star - Fall Out Boy, "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)
3rd Star - No Wyld, "Odyssey"

NHL 16

1st Star - Panic! At The Disco, "Hallelujah"
2nd Star - New Politics, "West End Kids"
3rd Star - Wildling, "Wolves (Take You)" 
NHL 17

1st Star - Nothing But Thieves, "Wake Up Call"
2nd Star - Feeling Good, "The Sheepdogs"
3rd Star - Maestro Fresh Wes feat. JD Era and JRDN, "Underestimated"

And, for your listening pleasure the next time you play an NHL video game, here's a playlist with all of these songs.