Jim Hughson remains as play-by-play announcer in the game, with Bill Clement joining as an analyst for a second time, debuting in the previous edition, NHL 2000. This is also the first NHL game to appear on the PlayStation 2 and also to include Latvia and Ukraine to the 18 national teams first featured in NHL 98 (Only available in the PC and PlayStation 2 versions). There is also a brand new feature called the Momentum Bar, which goes to the team who has scored goals, done big hits, etc.
NHL 2001 on the Play Station 2 features the Hartford Whalers uniforms under uniform select under the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the only NHL game that has featured the Whalers logo or uniforms after NHL 97.