Coming out tomorrow (June 20) is the 2013 Draft Prospects set, produced by In The Game Trading Cards. The set focuses on junior league prospects eligible for the NHL Entry Draft later this summer.
But just like the Heroes and Prospects sets of years past, there are also cards of current and former NHLers — here categorized as “First Round Picks” or “Draft Surprises.” There are also cards of “Future Draft Prospects” who are new to junior hockey and may one day be drafted by an NHL team.
A box costs around $90 and contains 12 cards, including seven base cards, three autographs and two game-used jersey cards.
Here’s what I got in the box I opened:
Seven (7) Base Cards
The base cards in 2013 Draft Prospects are printed on shiny foil board, and are reminiscent of the mid-1990s draft pick sets put out by Classic. The back of each card has a 100-word writeup about that player instead of statistics, which is a nice change of pace.
Like last year’s Enforcers set, 2013 Draft Prospects will be a tough one to put together. You get seven base cards in a 12-card box, and there’s 180 different cards to collect. Plus, one of the cards I pulled was a green “Limited Variant” variant, which would make this set even harder to complete if one in every seven base cards is a parallel. Just sayin’.
Two (2) Game Used Jersey Cards
The box also had, as promised, two jersey cards. Hunter Shinkaruk (top) was ranked as the 23rd-best prospect by The Hockey News, and should get drafted in the first round. Josh Ho-Sang (bottom) completed his first year in the OHL and is eligible for the NHL draft in 2014.
Three (3) Autographed Cards
- Kerby Rychel (top) is the son of former NHL player Warren Rychel, and is ranked the number 21 prospect for 2013 by The Hockey News.
- Jackson Whistle (middle) is not in the top 100 prospects, but is draft-eligible in 2013 and posted a 1.96 average in 21 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets this season.
- Sam Steel (bottom) was drafted by the Regina Pats in this year’s bantam draft with the second-overall pick, and won’t be eligible for the NHL until 2016. Steel is 15 years old, which might make him the youngest person to have an autographed hockey card.
In The Game really owns the prospects niche, and does a nice job with this set. ITG went the extra mile to get not only autographs of 15-year old future prospects, but pretty much all of the players projected to get picked in the first round of the 2013 draft — including Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin or Nathan MacKinnon.
Purists may find the shiny base cards obnoxious, but to me they “feel” right for a prospect set; sort of like what Classic did with their inserts and parallels for their prospect sets in the 1990s.
One drawback is the price.$90 for a 12-card box is a bit steep, especially when you compare it to In The Game’s Heroes and Prospects set, which costs less, gives you many more base cards (155 or so) and has the same number of jersey cards (two) and only one less autographed card (two instead of three). Then again, the autographs you might pull from a box of these cards are enticing.
Special thanks to In The Game Trading Cards for providing the box for this break.