Hockey season is once again upon us, and this year there is a trifecta of rookies that will drive early demand for 2021-22 Upper Deck Series 1 and Series 2 Young Guns cards.
Forwards Cole Caufield of the Montreal Canadiens and Quinton Byfield of the Los Angeles Kings, and goaltender Spencer Knight of the Florida Panthers are expected to drive early demand for Upper Deck this year.
2021-22 Upper Deck Series 1 was expected to be released at the Sport Card and Memorabilia Expo in Toronto the second weekend of November but that’s now been pushed back to sometime in December with retail arriving in early 2022. Hobby boxes will contain 24 packs with eight cards per pack.
While ungraded 2020-21 Upper Deck Young Guns Alexis Lafreniere cards immediately sold for $300 when Series 1 was released last year, most box breakers and case crackers are speculating that Caufield’s first Young Guns Series 1 rookie cards will likely hit eBay as $400 Buy it Now listings. His strong play in the Stanley Cup playoffs in the spring fueled that speculation.
While Young Guns will continue to drive pre-sales, box sales and the singles market, Upper Deck Series 1 and Series 2 will offer a lot more than just six rookie cards per box.
Series 1 will come out with a similar formula to last year’s product. It is a 200-card set, with cards 1-200 featuring 198 veteran players and two checklists. Cards 201-250 are short printed Young Guns (1:4 packs), featuring 49 players and one Young Guns checklist card.
The Base Set Parallels for cards 1-200 include a French parallel (1:30 packs); a hobby only Clear Cut parallel (1:96 packs); Exclusives, which are serial numbered to 100; and High Gloss, serial-numbered to 10. There is also a UD Canvas parallel set with base cards inserted one in seven packs, and Young Guns inserted 1:48 packs.
The inserts include Electromagnetic (1:14 packs, Gold parallel 1:160, Printing Plates 1:1); Honor Roll (1:12 packs, Rainbow parallel #/250, Gold Rainbow #/25, Printing Plates 1/1); Hundo P (1:12 packs, Gold 1/192; Printing Plates 1/1); Dazzlers (Green, Orange, Red retail, Blue 1:24, Pink 1:144, Debut Dates 1:16, Gold 1:192, Printing Plates 1/1); Rookie Retrospective (1:20, Gold 1:240, Printing Plates 1/1); UD Portraits (1:14; Black and White Variation #/250, Printing Plates 1/1); UD Portrait SPs (1:120, Black and White Variation #/25, Printing Plates 1/1); Day With the Cup Flashbacks (1:2,880 packs, Day With the Cup Flashbacks SPs 1:12,960); Clear Cut Foundations (1:360, Clear Cut Honored Members (#/100), Clear Cut Leaders 1:4,000 packs); Clear Picks (1:1,152 packs); O-Pee-Chee Glossy Rookies (Retail tins only, Bronze 1:9 packs, Gold 1:27).
There are also autographs and game-worn memorabilia cards in Upper Deck Series 1. Game Jersey cards drop 1:72 packs, while UD Game Patch and UD Game Patch 25th Anniversary are serial numbered to 15.
UD Canvas Signatures feature on-card autographs and are numbered to the player’s jersey number.
2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2
Like Series 1 Hockey, Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey will be a 250-card set with 200 base card veterans (198 players and two checklist cards), and a 50-card short printed Young Guns subset (49 players and one checklist) inserted at one per four packs, or six in a hobby box.
The French (1:30 packs), Clear Cut (1:96), Exclsuives (#/100) and High Gloss (#/10) parallels return from Series 1. The Young Guns parallels are also back with French (1:120); Clear Cut 1:288 Hobby only); Exclusives (#/100) and High Gloss (#/10).
The UD Canvas cards return in Upper Deck Series 2 with base cards C121 to C210 dropping 1:8 packs, and Young Guns C211 to C240 inserted 1:48 packs. There are also shortprinted High Series Retired canvas cards (1:192); High Series Program of Excellence (1:192 packs) and Canvas Printing Plates (1/1).
Dazzlers (DZ-51 to DZ-100) and Honor Roll (HR-51 to HR-100) are insert sets that are continued from Series 1, while UD Portraits features 30 rookies and 10 SP Rookies, with Black and White variations of each.
Other insert sets include Fluorescence (Red 1:144, Gold #/150, Blue #/50, Green #/15, Magenta #/5); OPC Update Rookies (1:8, Blue Border 1:30, Red Border 1/150 Hobby); OPC Retro Update Rookies (1:15, Black Border #/100, Neon Green Border #/50); OPC Update 1:30 (Blue Border 1:120, Red Border 1:600 Hobby); OPC Retro Update (1:60, Black Border #/100, Neon Green Border #/50). O-Pee-Chee Glossy Rookies are exclusive to Retail and found in bonus packs.
There are game-used rookie cards with Game-Used Rookie Materials (1:72), Rookie Materials Patch (#/25) and Rookie Threads Retro Patch (#/15).
UD Canvas Signatures return, and like in Series 1, they are signed on the card and numbered to the player’s jersey number.
Upper Deck Series 2 has a projected release date of Feb. 16, 2022.