Deja Vu Tuesday: Ryan Johansen

johansen_2014-15The photograph on Ryan Johansen’s 2014-15 Upper Deck trading card is bad. No, it isn’t quite as terrible as the infamous Bryan Pitton Score rookie card from a few years back. Nor is it the worst card of all time, though it is the worst card from this year’s UD Series One. Seeing the back of a player on the front of his own card is unremarkable. In fact, this photo is so unremarkable that apparently no one at Upper Deck noticed that they used the exact same photo on Johansen’s card from the previous season.

Here is Ryan Johansen’s 2013-14 card from Upper Deck Series Two:

johansen_2013-14And here again is Ryan Johansen’s 2014-15 Upper Deck Series One card:

johansen_2014-15I’ll even put them side-by-side if you don’t believe that they are the same photograph:
johansen_2013-14 johansen_2014-15

See? Same picture. Well, technically the 2013-14 Upper Deck card (left) gives us more of Johansen’s right elbow to look at, while the 2014-15 Upper Deck card (right) shows us more of the 19 on his back. If only one of the cards showed a little more of his, you know, face.

The least Upper Deck could have done is flipped the card from a horizontal to a vertical layout to make the photo recycling less noticeable.

johansen_customYep, no one would have been the wiser if Upper Deck just flipped the damn thing.

But really, why use the same photo two years in a row in the exact same set? Search Google, and you’ll find tons of photos of Ryan Johansen. The guy isn’t camera shy. Upper Deck could have easily found a different picture to use. Plus, it isn’t like the folks at Upper Deck have to worry anymore about Panini using the same pictures that UD uses.

It isn’t so much that Upper Deck used the same photo for two years in a row – it’s that they used THIS photo two years in a row. Why use the same boring pic? Maybe it was in retaliation for Johansen having a nondescript, squiggly autograph on all the insert cards he signs. But why single him out, as practically everyone in the NHL has a scribbley autograph.

Or maybe it is because Johansen is a player that no one notices on a team that no one notices. Every collector would have been up in arms if Upper Deck used the same photo of Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews for two years in a row in their marquee set. And while it is easy to make fun of the Blue Jackets sometimes, Johansen was the team’s leading scorer in 2013-14 — so using the same exact photo on his 2014-15 card seems more lazy than anything.

Stick tap to John Ess for noticing the redundant photograph.


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

3 thoughts on “Deja Vu Tuesday: Ryan Johansen”

  1. Seriously Sal, we need to do an interview with some reps at some of these card companies! What makes them tick, what are the deciding factors in pictures? who comes up with new designs every year? What’s a typical day like for these people. It’d be great!

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