2013-14 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Box Break

boxAnother hockey season, another Upper Deck Hockey set. This season’s Upper Deck Series One Hockey set came out in mid-November, and is loaded with quality rookie cards. Whereas the 2012-13 Young Guns class had to scrape the bottom of the rookie barrel, the 2013-14 set features the “Double Rookie Class,” meaning that Upper Deck can pick and choose the best new players from 2012-13 and 2013-14.

I recently bought a box of 2013-14 Upper Deck Series One. Here’s what I got:

165 Base Cards

baseThis year’s base card design is a bit heavy on “the foil,” with a silver frame surrounding the player name and team name. I got 165 different base cards — 82% of the base set — and none were doubles.

6 Young Guns

young_gunsAh, yes! The reason everyone, including myself, buys these cards year after year. Sure, we love the base cards — but most of us hope to get some quality Young Guns too. The RCs I pulled from this box were Lucas Lessio, Mathew Dumba, Danny DeKeyser, Sean Monohan, Sami Vatanen and 2013 Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau. Overall, a darn good group of rookie cards in this box.

1 UD Exclusives Parallel

base_100You can’t tell from the scan above, but the UD Exclusives parallel cards use gold foil instead of silver foil. This one, of Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad, is numbered 022 / 100.

4 UD Canvas Inserts

canvasI like these cards, but at four per box they make for a tough set to put together. So, I usually trade these away. The four I got here were Alexander Steen, Ryan Suter, Paul Stastny and Evander Kane. Hooray for the Western Conference!

2 Hockey Heroes

hockey_heroesThe popular “Hockey Heroes” insert set returns this year, focusing on the best players of the 1980s.  The two cards I got were Mike Bossy and Mark Messier. Can’t wait until next year, when they focus on the 1990s.

2 Shining Stars

shining_starsSpeaking of the 1990s, these “Shining Stars” inserts are straight out of the 1990s. The cards are chromium-etched, like many an insert from back then. And you know what? I like these. The Shining Star inserts look way more interesting than past insert sets like Top Guns, All-World Team or Draft Day Gems. But the Shining Stars cards actually look and feel like inserts that you’d be excited to get. The two I got were Alex Galchenyuk and Jordan Eberle.

4 MVP Inserts

mvpThe insert set that nobody asked for! I got four of MVP inserts: Alex Ovechkin, Thomas Vanek, Matt Stajan and Mark Messier. I’m not a fan of these, and don’t care for the silver facsimile autograph.

1 MVP Rookie insert

mvp_rcTyler Toffoli scored 5 points in 10 games with the Los Angeles Kings last year.

1 MVP Limited Rainbow Electric Gold Platinum Sliver Bronze Super-Duper Parallel

mvp_25Honestly, I don’t know what this parallel is called, but it is serial-numbered 13 / 25 and has shiny rainbow foil instead of silver.

2 UD Game Jersey cards

gu_theodore gu_priceAs usual, Upper Deck Series One included two game used jersey cards. Here I got a red-swatch card of Jose Theodore and a white swatch card of Carey Price. I’m glad that the Theodore card doesn’t have a green swatch from his days with the Minnesota Wild.

What I like about 2013-14 Upper Deck Series One Hockey: Slick design and excellent photography. Card backs have complete statistics and are very legible. There is a good variety of inserts (Shining Stars, Hockey Heroes, MVP, Canvas) which breaks things up a bit and makes them more interesting. And let’s not forget the Young Guns.

What I dislike about 2013-14 Upper Deck Series One Hockey: MVP inserts are lame. I kind of got the whole “set-in-a-set” thing when the lockout cancelled some sets, but now MVP just seems tired. And I’m not a fan of jersey cards, but at least Upper Deck stopped doing Franken-cards, where the swatch is from a different team than the photo. These are minor complaints, though. The pros definitely outweigh the cons here.

Rating 5 out of 5The base cards look great and putting together a set of Young Guns is less daunting than a set of, say, Black Diamond Quadruple Diamond RCs. The inserts are varied enough and the jersey cards use appropriately-colored swatches. Most likely, you will not get any mega-hits in a box, but these cards aren’t for the hit-seekers; they are for collectors who love hockey cards. Upper Deck Series One is a fun break this year.

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

7 thoughts on “2013-14 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Box Break”

  1. Completely agree with your take. MVP has got to go. I like the B&W/Sepia retired player variations but that’s about it. The Canvas cards I might actually take a shot at putting together. I don’t know. But I do like the Shining Stars inserts as well. I like the fact that they are tiered by position. That was an interesting twist. The two boxes I got from the November show gave me a case hit “rainbow” version of one of them. Also, both of my boxes had all retired player jersey cards. I almost thought that was all that was in there until I saw the checklist. Maybe I got a HOT BOX?? NOT!!

    1. Tim, I bought 5 boxes and the first 3 or 4 had jerseys of retired players, too. I was actually surprised when I got Carey Price (though I thought Jose Theodore was retired).

      I like the Shining Stars inserts, too, and plan on getting them all.

      Likewise, if you are building the Canvas set, I’ll set aside the 20 that I pulled for you.

  2. Hey Sal, I am so sorry but I have to say that you are wrong on one point. Upper Deck is still doing Franken-cards. I opened four boxes of Series One and on my 8 jerseys, I got one of Bernie Nicholls pictured with the Oilers but with a red swatch on the card. Also, I got a Jeff Carter card pictured with the Kings but with a orange piece of jersey on the card!

    And I have to say that something else disappointed me when breaking into those boxes. I got two “identical” boxes in the same case! I mean with the same Young Guns and Shinning Stars. And you confirmed my though with your box break, because, believe it or not, my Young Guns cards were : Lucas Lessio, Mathew Dumba, Danny DeKeyser, Sean Monohan, Sami Vatanen and Jonathan Huberdeau. The same as you, but mine were from two boxes of the same case! My two identical Shining Stars were Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Toews. What do you think about that?

    On a positive note, I kind of like the MVP insert and think this is an easy cute set to do. I think that they are better than the Victory insert.

    1. Hmmm…interesting about the jersey cards. I purchased and opened five boxes, and did not get one Franken-Card. I also watched two friends each open a box of UD S1, and neither pulled a Franken-Card, either. Based on that, I thought Upper Deck put this sorry practice behind it.

      And it sucks when you get the same 6 Young Guns in two boxes. I remember that happening to me with three boxes of 2006-07 UD S1, and again with two boxes of 2011-12 UD S1. I hate when you pull that first double, and then just know in your gut that the five other Young Guns are NOT going to help you finish off your set.

      I did end up getting a lot of duplicate “Heroes” cards, but all of my Shining Stars and Young Guns in the five boxes I opened were different.

  3. Of the four MVP cards I have so far, three are miscut showing the top of another card on the bottom – anyone else seeing this?

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