For Patrik Laine, it's a match made in hockey heaven.
The Winnipeg Jets sniper and well-documented video game enthusiast has once again managed to parlay his two passions into one perfect package. Laine, 20, will be the face of EA SPORTS NHL 20 in Finland when it's released next month.
This is the second straight year Laine's mug will grace the cover of the popular video game franchise in his home country, making him the first hockey player to go back-to-back.
"It was awesome to hear that EA SPORTS chose me as the cover athlete for the second time. The new cover art looks even cooler than the previous one. This kind of recognition gives me the motivation on the ice to prove that I’m worth all the hype," Laine said in a statement Wednesday.
"As everyone already knows, I've been a passionate fan of the NHL game since childhood. The season is very demanding physically and mentally, and in return, playing EA SPORTS NHL on a console with friends is a really good way to relax."
Laine's patented one-timer will also be replicated in the video game as part of their Signature Shot feature.
Laine scored 30 goals last season after beginning his NHL career with 36- and 44-goal campaigns. He admitted following Winnipeg's first-round post-season exit to St, Louis that he battled a chronic back issue for much of the year, in addition to a groin injury down the stretch and in the playoffs.
He is currently a restricted free agent in need of a new contract.
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