Most features are exclusive to the next generation versions (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) and are not present in the previous generation versions (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360).
NHL Collision Physics is EA's revamped player physics and allows for secondary collisions, player pileups, and net scrambles. In the next generation, this applies to all 12 players on the ice, meaning that all players are affected by physics. This allows for pileups involving all 12 players. In the previous generation, not all 12 players are affected by physics, and pileups do not involve all of them.
Revamped puck physics leads to authentic and unpredictable puck bounces, rolls and goals in the next generation versions. Everything on the ice controls puck physics. According to NHL 15 producer Sean Ramjagsingh, EA hired a software engineer who worked on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to help make the puck physics as realistic as possible.
New modeling system for players and equipment allows for dynamic cloth technology in the next generation, with the players' clothes moving and affecting physics.
Authentic NHL arenas: For the next generation versions, EA is re-creating all 30 NHL arenas in extensive detail, making each arena unique and enabling larger crowds at NHL games.
NBC Sports Game Day Presentation: As part of a new partnership with NBC Sports, the next generation versions will feature a broadcast package that closely resembles The NHL on NBC broadcasts.
New commentary: Play-by-play announcer Gary Thorne and color commentator Bill Clement have been replaced by NBC Sports commentators Mike "Doc" Emrick and Ed "Eddie" Olczyk, respectively. Additionally, in the next generation versions, TSN analyst Ray Ferraro will give game insights at ice level.
Ferraro's proximity to EA's development studios in Vancouver allows EA to call him midseason to update the game with new insights as the 2014–15 season progresses. According to Ramjagsingh, Emrick and Olczyk were recorded in front of a green screen and have been directly put into the virtual studio in the game, which eliminates lip syncing.
Living crowds: On the next generation, the crowd is more alive with individuals holding up player signs, wearing costumes, and reacting authentically to plays. Over 9,000 new crowd models produces various different types of fans.
In the next generation, Vision AI makes non-human-controlled players more aware of what is happening on the ice, including potential plays.
Group celebration returns to the NHL series for the first time since NHL 11, allowing goalscorers to celebrate with teammates in the next generation versions. New individual player celebrations have also been added.
As always, it sounds promising. I'm looking forward to seeing how good it looks on my Xbox One, which is currently just gathering dust (by my own admission, I bought it waaaay too early). It's cool that they are putting in the authentic arenas, and switching commentators should freshen it up. It's also pretty funny that they're putting Ferraro between the glass to provide comments.