2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey Retail Box
While it's not the first NHL set each year, for many, the new collecting season really doesn't start until 2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey.
Headlined by the storied Young Guns rookie cards that fall six per box, the hobby format also delivers several inserts and parallels, plus a small shot at some extremely limited cards.
2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey Base / Young Guns
Of course, the 2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey checklist includes 250 action-filled cards in the main set, with 50 being Young Guns (1:4 packs) showcasing the first live rookie cards for some of the top incoming players. Limited parallels for the base set include the standards: Exclusives (#/100) and High Gloss (#/10). Returning, too, are the Clear Cut PETG parallels, which are only found in physical hobby formats at a rate of 1:72 packs.
While not technically part of the base set, many collectors treat the 90-card UD Canvas set as an extension. These cards promise "mind-blowing photography" and average 1:6 packs. In addition to the base Canvas cards (1:7 packs), the Young Guns UD Canvas subset is a bit more rare at 1:48 packs.
2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey Inserts
Building on the base set, 2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey also makes it mark with a variety of inserts. New options include Centennial Standouts (1:5 packs) and SP Photo Variations (1:1,000 packs). The Second Six is also not an easy pull at 1:1,000 packs.
Combining to average 1:8 packs, the foil-based Shining Stars includes Centers (1:16 packs), Left Wingers (1:24 packs), and the tough Goalies (1:48 packs). There are also more elusive Red parallels that should come in each hobby box. Getting up close and personal are the UD Portraits (Base - 1:7; Rookies - 1:60 packs) cards for key veterans and first-year players. Gold Foil (#/99 or #/25) and Platinum Blue (#/25 or #/5) parallels increase the Portraits' rarity.
Adding in more acetate, the Clear Cut Superstars (1:400 packs), Clear Cut Honoured Members Update (#/100) and Clear Cut Leaders (#/10) inserts don't emerge too often. Clear Cut Foundations pairs up multiple players in Duos (#/25) and Trios (#/10) editions.
Following up its debut in the 2016-17 set, Ceremonial Puck Drop returns with a fresh dozen and very tough odds of 1:2,000 packs. Autograph versions are even more rare at 1:16,000 packs. Naturally, it wouldn't be flagship UD without Day with the Cup (1:2,000 packs) in honor of the title winners.
2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey Autographs and Relics
While 2017-18 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey has a lot that gears more to the base and insert variety, it is not without the hits collectors love to chase. UD Canvas Signatures is limited to the player's jersey number while Signature Sensations falls around 1:288 packs.
There is also the familiar UD Game Jersey in base (1:36 packs) and Patch (#/15). Honoring specific milestones are the APH 300 Win Club Jersey (1:7,200 packs) and Patch (#/10), 500 Goal Club Jersey (1:7,200 packs), and 1,000 Point Club Jersey (1:2,400 packs).
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