2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey would be the 32nd consecutive year Upper Deck has put out this flagship line.
Everyone familiar with the hobby’s longest-running set knows the drill when it comes to Series 2. This series picks up from where Series 1 left off, giving us a more extensive base set, extra inserts, and another batch of collectors’ favorite Young Guns.
While series 1 tends to focus on the present, series 2 takes a deeper look at the line’s rich history in the way it approaches RC and sets.
This article shall review the 2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey and whether or not it’s a good investment.
The history of the hobby’s longest-running set dates back to 1990, when the first Upper Deck Hockey cards were produced. Upper Deck had achieved great success with their baseball cards, and they quickly branched out into more sports, including hockey.
Their foray into hockey cards took the quality of hockey cards to another level, which was appreciated by fans and collectors alike.
The 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey set had 550 cards divided into two series. Thus the two-series format of Upper Deck hockey was born. Its glossy look design, crisp photography, and unique inserts made it an instant hit with collectors.
Thirty-two years later, it’s not only hockey’s most extended running set but the longest running set in the hobby.
The 2021-22 Upper Deck Hockey Series 2 was released on the 29th of June 2022.
With a run line of over 30 years and several highly valuable inserts, Upper Deck Hockey has built quite a number of followers, and every release is popular with fans. However, this series is even more anticipated than most, and we’ll tell you why.
Aside from the general appeal of every Upper Deck Hockey release, the 2021-22 series 2 has several solid names on the checklist. Series 1 showcased just carryover rookies from last season, leaving a loaded amount of rookies for Series 2.
This is one of those years where Series 2 is much stronger than Series 1. Many notable rookies aren’t in Series 1 and are set to feature in Series 2, including the most anticipated rookies of the year. Moritz Seider, Matt Boldy, Alex Newhook, and Lucas Raymond, amongst others.
While the lineup of rookies in Series 2 is exceptional, the checklist would be much more profound. Anyone familiar with Upper Deck knows that Series 2 is more old-school in its approach to hits, giving the nod to the history of the Upper Deck line as a whole.
With popular inserts and parallels such as Exclusives, Portraits, UD Canvas, and Young Guns on offer, it’s easy to see why this is a hit with collectors.
The 2021-22 UD Series 1 had several issues. Asides from the design, which most collectors seemed to dislike, there were issues with the cards. These included lots of damaged cards, ragged edges, and torn corners.
While Upper Deck will replace these damaged cards, it’s a concern for Series 2. I do not think there’s a reason for this fear. If anything, the issues with the Series 1 would warrant a more stringent quality control check for the Series 2 cards to ensure all cards are perfect.
Traditionally, Upper Deck offers variety when it comes to its release format too. There’s a pack for every collector.
What to expect in a hobby box
Young Guns Rookie Cards – 6
The 2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey doesn’t differ from the Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey norm. As expected, there are 250 cards in its base set, starting at #251 and ending at #500. The first 200 cards showcase veterans of the game, while the remaining 50 highlight rookies in their Young Guns RC.
Young Guns (#451-500)
The UD Canvas line is back and better in the 2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2. It adds another 150 cards and offers more base cards encompassing four subsets.
Veterans: This subset highlights veterans of the game. It takes up 90 spots on the checklist and falls at 1:8 hobby packs.
UD Canvas Young Guns: Find the next round of rookie players highlighted in the Young Gun design. Thirty combine to land approximately every other hobby box (1:48 packs).
High Series Retired: These are tough pulls at 1:192 hobby packs.
Team Canada: Gets the spotlight on 15 High Series Program of Excellence cards (1:192).
UD Canvas Printing Plate parallels are available as well.
This release keeps things exciting by debuting a few new inserts while supplying collectors with their favorite insert from Series 1.
Dazzlers (#DZ-51 to #DZ-100): Dazzlers get another 50-card installment. Blue versions are the most common, landing approximately one per hobby box. Pink parallels are 1:144. Additional parallels are exclusive to other configurations. For example, retail tins have Orange Dazzlers (1:8).
Honor Roll (#HR-51 to #HR-100): Honor Roll (1:12) makes its first appearance in Series 2, having grown by another 50 cards, mixing rookies and stars. Rainbow (/250) and Gold Rainbow (/25) parallels are also randomly inserted.
UD Portraits Rookies (#P-41 to #P-70) and SP Rookies (#P-71 to #P-80): UD Portraits Rookies switches its focus to highlighting NHL’s rookies. Landing in two tiers, the first 30 combine to fall at 1:14 packs, while the final ten are short prints at 1:120. These also have limited Black and White parallels (/99, SP /25).
There are also several highly coveted chase inserts. Such as:
Day With The Cup (1:1,000 packs): This insert highlights Tampa Bay Lightening Players. At 1:1,000 hobby packs, the Day with the Cup insert continues to be one of Upper Deck Hockey’s toughest inserts.
Fluorescence: This insert set was missing in Series 1. Red versions are the most common at 1:144.
NHL Passages (1:240 packs): This new insert displays a quad-image player progression on acetate stock. All highlighted players have played in the league for a minimum of five years. Their transformations through the years are shown using four photos taken at different points of their careers.
Rookie Breakouts (#/100): This is another acetate set
Honor Roll – 1:12
UD Portraits Rookies – 1:14
UD Portraits Rookies SPs – 1:120
The 2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey is home to the 2021-22 O-Pee-Chee Hockey update. It expands its already extensive checklist and showcases rookies (1:8) and players on new teams (1:30). This includes base cards and rookies with limited parallels.
Standard parallels include Blue Border (Rookies – 1:30, Veterans – 1:120) and hobby-exclusive Red Border (Rookies – 1:150, Veterans 1:600).
O-Pee-Chee Update Retro versions (Rookies – 1:15, Veterans 1:60) go with a different design that channels another era. Additional Retro parallels include Neon Green Border (/50) and Black Border (/100).
The O-Pee-Chee Glossy Rookies are exclusive to retail Tins. Each tin has a three-card bonus pack. Bronze (1:9) and Gold (1:27) parallels round out the chase for these.
OPC Update Rookies – 1:8
OPC Retro Update Rookies – 1:15
OPC Update – 1:30
OPC Retro Update – 1:60
Collectors chasing memorabilia cards would have a fun time breaking this box.
Rookie Materials: Available at 1:3 hobby boxes (1:72 packs). Patch parallels have 25 copies each. There are also Rookie Threads Retro Patch cards (/15). The rare UD Canvas Signatures cards are hard-signed and numbered to the player’s jersey number.
Upper Deck Hockey ranks top 3 for the most collected sets across the hobby. Hundreds of thousands of Upper Deck Hockey packs are ripped, traded, and accumulated every year.
This almost religious amount of followers ensures chase cards from this series hold their value exceedingly well. Let’s see how well the previous four releases have fared regarding value.
|2016/17 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Hobby Box||$419|
|2017/18 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Hobby Box||$199|
|2018/19 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Hobby Box||$249.95|
|2019/20 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Hobby Box||$400|
These prices offer some ROI from how much they were sold when released. However, this ROI isn’t impressive and makes the route to invest in this project clearer. You’ll be better off chasing hit cards rather than buying unopened boxes.
Let’s consider how well single cards have performed. We’ll be considering only PSA 9 and above graded cards.
|2016-17 Upper Deck Young Guns Mitch Marner #C91 UD Canvas Rookie Card PSA 10||$634.84|
|2016-17 UPPER DECK SERIES 2 Thatcher Demko YOUNG GUNS RC ROOKIE PSA 10||$173.24|
|2017-18 Upper Deck Hockey #221 YOUNG GUNS Alex DeBrincat RC ROOKIE PSA 9||$99.12|
|2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 Miro Heiskanen Young Guns clear cut Acetate MNT 9.5||$343.11|
|2018-19 Upper Deck Series Two 2 Young Guns #451 Andrei Svechnikov GEM MNT 9.5||$76.00|
|2019-20 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey #493 Cale Makar Young Guns RC PSA10||$765|
|2019-20 Upper Deck Series 2 Cale Makar Young Guns Graded 9.5||$293.90|
Upper Deck Hockey has always held value exceedingly well, with a healthy abundance of chase cards in every hobby box. We focused on Young Guns and Canvas because they’re amongst the most loved inserts in hockey. The best thing about Upper Deck Hockey is its value for a mid-range product.
While most mid-range product gives you a single hit card and a bunch of cards not worth the paper they are printed on. With Upper Deck Hockey, you get many valuable cards in each box that’ll immediately retail for considerable profits.
UD Young Guns easily sell for higher prices than numbered cards from other brands, even lacking serial numbering. If you’re looking to invest here, grab a couple of hit cards, and you’ll surely be sitting on decent profits after a few months.
Upper Deck Hockey has been running for decades and has a huge fan base of loyal followers across every single insert. Hundreds of thousands of collectors chase these inserts each season and that demand ensures they hold their value well.
Aside from the healthy demand, Upper Deck has always used great design and image, which has played a role in their cards’ success. These factors have combined to ensure collectors are left satisfied with the value of their Upper Deck hockey cards.