The EA SPORTS NHL 17 Cover Vote opened Monday, and Thursday was an important day in deciding which players would move closer to appearing on the front of the video game cover.
Every fan vote on social media counts double as part of Twitter Thursday, the only double-vote day of the first round. Round 1 runs through Monday at 3 p.m. ET, and the winners of the four head-to-head matchups will then advance to the semifinals. The two semifinal winners will reach the finals, and the winner will be revealed at the NHL Awards on June 22 in Las Vegas.
This year eight superstars have been selected to represent their NHL and World Cup of Hockey teams and compete to become the NHL® 17 cover athlete.
The first-round matchups are: Joe Pavelski, Team USA, San Jose Sharks vs. Anze Kopitar, Team Europe, Los Angeles Kings; Aleksander Barkov, Team Finland, Florida Panthers vs. Jamie Benn, Team Canada, Dallas Stars; Connor McDavid, Team Canada, Edmonton Oilers vs. Jakub Voracek, Team Czech Republic, Philadelphia Flyers; Vladimir Tarasenko, Team Russia, St. Louis Blues vs. Victor Hedman, Team Sweden, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Fans can vote here or by using the applicable hashtag of their favorite player on Twitter. Many voters, including some NHL teams and players, already have found creative ways to show their support.
The San Jose Sharks' official Twitter account took us back to one of the best moments of 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition, where Pavelski and defenseman Brent Burns brought their sons onto the ice, to tie double-vote day in with Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Ziegler took to Twitter to also garner votes for Pavelski.
The account for Kopitar's dog Gustl angled to boost his owner past Pavelski by capitalizing on National Superhero Day.
In the head-to-head between Barkov and Benn, the Panthers posted a simple message to their fans to vote for the Florida forward.
Barkov also received a boost from the Panthers' favorite celebrity.
Stars commentator Daryl Reaugh created this political-style ad to advocate for Benn.
CCM Hockey wants fans to choose McDavid in his quarterfinal against Voracek.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez advocated for Tarasenko in his matchup against Hedman.
Lightning center Tyler Johnson also wants fans to vote for Hedman.