Thanks to the generosity of @Toxic_CA
(who kindly gave out 2 free beta codes to EA's NHL17 Beta yesterday), I had a chance to try out this game.
It's fun to play! Granted the last time I played a hockey video game was on the Super Nintendo console (15 yrs ago I think???) so I don't have any more recent experiences to compare with. But with that said, this game looks and sounds great and is a lot of fun to play.
I imagine the game will be even more fun once I become better acquainted with the rules of hockey (what is icing and why do I get called for it??).