Review: 2016 Upper Deck World Cup of Hockey

With the NHL and NHLPA recently electing to forgo the 2020 World Cup of Hockey Tournament, I figured now would be a good time to revisit Upper Deck’s 2016 WCH set. 

For Promotional Purposes Only

I have a very strong opinion that promotional items should not be resold, which explains why I haven’t added this set to my collection.

A few weeks ago, I tagged Upper Deck in a tweet when I was checking to see if anyone had any packs available for trade. A couple weeks later I was gifted with an Upper Deck “Random Act Of Kindness” filled with cards from the release. Upper Deck truly goes out of their way to make these things happen.

The Breakdown

There are 50 cards in the set, with each team having five players featured in the deep checklist of participants. The packs were available from shops as incentives with purchases of other Upper Deck products. Also, randomly inserted into packs were printing plates and autograph cards. I pulled a Dmitry Orlov autographed card in my haul.

The Good

Simply put, the cards are stunning. The color choices of the backgrounds and posed photo selection of some of the players really makes this set look like a premium product and not just a promotional release. The logo and team/player name plates really pop as well.

The cards backs utilize the same photo from the front of the card and contain basic information (height, weight) about the players and give a brief rundown of the player’s contributions in other international tournaments.

The Bad

The biggest distraction in the set is are the cards of Patrick Laine and Auston Matthews. Their heads look gigantic and awkward when placed next to the other cards in the set. All I can think of when I see them is the movie “Wayne’s World,” when Wayne and Garth take turns doing “Extreme Close Ups!”

The other head shots in the set are nowhere near as large as Laine and Matthews.

Rating 4 out of 5

For a promotional set, a lot of time and effort was spent making the cards look fantastic. This could be due to the fact the NHL and NHLPA collaborated on the project. Other than the giant head cards of Laine and Matthews, there really isn’t much I would change about the set. 

A collector since the explosion of 1990, Rob Joncas can usually be found scouring bargain bins at card shows for Pittsburgh Penguins cards and hopes to add the Pro Set Holy Grail to his collection one day- the Stanley Cup Hologram. Follow him on Twitter @RobJoncas.

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