If there is one thing that Canada truly seems to rally around, it is their national hockey team as it takes on the best talent from the rest of the world. Since the players from the Great White North tend to have a lot of success on the ice, it is only natural that there is also a great demand for these talents appearing on trading cards in their maple leaf-emblazoned jerseys. The upcoming release of 2018-19 Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors aims to satisfy hobbyists with a look at the game’s future along with some of the best women skating today and a smattering of legends.
Upper Deck has made this product an annual tradition and it manages to deliver some big hits – including an average of one autographed patch card in each 15-pack box. That is not the only thing collectors may be excited about, though, as there are three other hits inside that could be game-used memorabilia cards or autographs.
Plenty of Prospects
The 2018-19 Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors base set is going to be made up of 100 cards which draw from the U-18 and U-20 Men’s teams in addition to the Women’s squad that won silver at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Additionally, there are a few retired players expected to make it into the collection as well.
Several of the young stars making it into the set may only have a few cards on the market, so this product is a natural place to begin a player collection. Among the ones to watch from the U-20 subset are elite Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect Carter Hart along with Jordan Kyrou (St. Louis Blues), Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks), Michael McLeod (New Jersey Devils), and Drake Batherson (Ottawa Senators).
Moving on to the U-18 group, you will be getting several players in 2018-19 Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors that were recently drafted. Included in that group are first rounders such as Liam Foudy (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ty Smith (New Jersey Devils), and Ryan Merkley (San Jose Sharks). There are some 2019 prospects like Kirby Dach, Peyton Krebs, Bowen Byram, and Matthew Robertson. However, the one people are really going to be chasing is prime 2020-eligible talent Alexis Lafreniere – who has already seen early cardboard action in Upper Deck’s CHL release earlier this year.
One of the coolest features of this annual release is the inclusion of members of the national Women’s team. The Canadians narrowly lost a thrilling gold medal battle with the United States and there is still plenty of prime talent likely to be found here like goalie Shannon Szabados and big scorers like Marie-Philip Poulin, Rebecca Johnston, and Melodie Daoust.
Intriguing Inserts and Parallels
Each of the cards in the base set will have multiple levels of parallels and they average out around five per box. The regular Exclusives are numbered out of 225 while High Gloss are a much tougher pull as they are limited to 25 copies each. The biggest challenge in 2018-19 Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors will be the Black parallels and there are just five of those for each player.
Team Canada Jerseys are the foundation of the memorabilia program and they are joined by the premium Autograph Patch Cards which fall once per box. These come in two tiers for the Men (/125 or 199) while there are 199 copies for each of the women.
As for the traditional non-memorabilia inserts, there will be at least three different types to collect. Program of Excellence, which has a long history in Upper Deck products, is here along with Golden Futures and Provincial Prowess.
Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors is set for release on August 21.
You can see Team Canada Juniors cards on eBay here.