When 2015-16 Upper Deck NHL Portfolio is released Wednesday, hockey collectors will receive a double treat.
Not only will there be rookie cards from the 2015-16 rookie class, there also will be rookie cards from the 2016-17 group.
The 2016-17 rookies will be found via “XRC” cards, which are basically redemptions. There will be six of them in various formats; the first three (yet to be determined) will be rookies for the 2016-17 season; card No. 1 will be the “most collectible” card, chosen by Upper Deck, Card Nos. 2 and 3 will be the second- and third-most collectible cards. Rookie Nos. 4 through 6 will be holdover rookies from last season — William Nylander (Maple Leafs), Anthony Mantha (Red Wings) and Pavel Zacha (Devils).
These six redemption cards will be found as Rookie Color Art, Rookie Black and White Art, Rookie Color Photo Autograph, Rookie Wire Photo Autograph, Rookie Wire Photo Autograph, Rookie Color Art Autographs and Rookie Black and White Art Autograph.
2015-16 Upper Deck Portfolio Basics
The redemption cards are the lure and will be extremely tough to find, but not the bulk of the 2015-16 Upper Deck Portfolio set.
A hobby box will consist of 20 packs, with eight cards per pack. Upper Deck is promising one autograph card and a relic per box, on average. Boxes are currently available here at $95-$100.
A full checklist is available for download below.
In addition to the base cards, collectors also can expect to pull eight Rookie Color Photos, three Rookie Wire Photos, three Veteran Wire Photos, two Rookie Art cards and two Veteran Art card.
The base set sits at 364 cards, expanded after factoring in short prints, rookie cards and subsets.
One big plus for this set is that there will be no autograph redemptions. All autographs have been secured and are included in selected packs.
Insert Sets and Autographs
Among the subsets, the Wire Photos appear to be the most intriguing. A black-and-white action shot dominates the card, with a caption that resembles those that were attached to shots produced for newspapers by The Associated Press and United Press International. Back in the day, photos were transmitted by wire from the wire services to subscribing newspapers. These subsets have the same feel, although I am certain they will not smudge like the old wire service photos.
Non-color photography is also put to good use in the Black & White Art cards. There is something stark and beautiful about black and white photography if it is used properly.
Signature cards will be split among several themes, including Base and Rookie Phenom Color Photo Autograph. Those will be the most common autos; the Wire Photo, Color Art and Black & White Autograph cards will be scarcer pulls. SP Game Used Rookie Update cards will be a bonus in the Portfolio set, and SP Game Used rookie signatures will be limited to 30 copies.
Autographs in preview materials appear to be primarily on stickers.
A premium pull from packs will be the 1/1 Masterpiece Portraits, a hand-painted card that depicts 45 different players.
Memorabilia cards will have a Profiles Material motif and will come in single swatches, dual, quad and six. These cards will have Premium Series Silver and Premium Series Gold parallels. The silvers will be numbered from 3 to 33, while the gold will be numbered from 13 down to 1/1s. Some of the swatches will include pins and/or buttons along with jersey materials.