Beckett Hockey

COMING ATTRACTION­S

2021-22 O-PEE-CHEE PLATINUM

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The chrome-enhanced glow-up of the standard OPC release returns for what’s sure to be an avid hobby reception. All the familiar elements are there, though the configurat­ion is different. This year will see more cards per pack, but fewer packs per box. Overall, hobby boxes will deliver more total cards than in the past. Have to love that!

THE BASICS:

The base set is significan­tly larger, going from 200 cards in 2020-21 to 300 this year. The checklist features 200 veterans and 100 Marquee Rookies, with both subsets augmented by a dozen parallels. Among those, the Orange Checkers (/25, hobby only), Emerald Surge (/10) and Golden Treasures (/1) will be the most hotly pursued.

CHASE HIGHLIGHTS:

Every hobby box should include one autograph. The majority of these feature rookies with on-card signatures. Look for Rainbow (1:120), Blue Traxx (1:144), Violet Pixels (1:288), Matte Pink (1:432), Cosmic (1:576), Red Prism (/50), Seismic Gold (/25), Orange Checkers (/15, hobby only), Emerald Surge (/10), Golden Treasures (/1) parallels.

RETURNING FAVORITES:

On top of the standard parallels, there are Retro Variations that change up the design.

Retro parallels include Rainbow (1:12), Blue Rainbow (/149), Purple Houndstoot­h (/15) and Golden Treasures (1/1). Select cards also have autographs (Veterans – 1:192, Rookies – 1:384).

WHAT DO YOU THINK?:

OPC Platinum has become a cornerston­e product in Upper Deck’s slate. Bulking up the checklist while adding more cards per box should enhance the set-building experience and make for a more entertaini­ng break.

WHAT IS IT?:

This boutique release highlights the next generation of players in the NHL’s top developmen­tal league. It’s not big on bells and whistles, but delivers an old-school collecting experience with an emphasis on set building, with one autograph, one parallel, and a dozen inserts to spice up each box break. Eddie Shore would have given it his seal of approval.

THE BASICS:

At 150 total cards, the base set features 50 fewer cards than the 2020-21 AHL release. That’s due largely to a shift in content focus, with some of the cards that might have been short prints from previous years being repurposed into more traditiona­l inserts. That 150-card base set includes 100 main cards plus 50 Star Rookies, which drop one per pack. The oneper box parallels come in two levels: Exclusives (/100) and High Gloss (/10).

CHASE HIGHLIGHTS:

Every hobby box includes one AHL Autograph, on average. Veterans fall 1:18 packs, with Star Rookies dropping 1:36. These cards tend to be strong regional sellers, so they’re always fun to pull.

OTHER INSERTS:

UD AHL keeps it simple with three additional insert sets: AHL All-Stars (1:2), AHL Captains

(1:4) and AHL All-Rookie Team (1:9).

All three are augmented by Red (All-Stars – 1:34, Captains – 1:72, All-Rookie Team – 1:166) and Gold (/25) parallels. Select insert cards also have autograph versions. It’s worth noting that both All-Stars and All-Rookie Team were base set themes in 2020-21 Upper Deck AHL.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?:

Upper Deck

AHL has always been a niche product, driven by hardcore prospector­s and collectors in smaller markets with connection­s to local teams. It’ll never be a must-break product for the majority of collectors, but there are bound to be many singles of interest to even the most casual of hobbyists.

Don’t overlook it.

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