Happy New Year, loyal Puck Junk readers. Before we get into new content for 2022, I wanted to give a recap of Puck Junk’s most-read articles of 2021, and a brief update about what has been going on with this website.
As we all know, the trading card hobby has experienced a resurgence in interest over the past two years; much of it as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic making more people stay at home and spend their money on other activities besides sporting events, concerts, and travel.
As a result, Puck Junk has experienced it’s highest readership of all time. In fact, traffic on this site has grown 75% between 2020 and 2021. And as I’ve always said, it is more gratifying when more people read this site. I still remember how excited I was back in late 2007 when I finally had an article read by 10 people. Yes, just getting to double-digits was such an accomplishment back then. So, I am very grateful today that thousands of people read and enjoy what I write.
Likewise, listenership of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast has increased 35% between 2020 and 2021. Again, it is great to see more people engage with the podcast that myself and Tim — and many times Blake and Jim — work on. We don’t always get an episode up every week, but we try. Hopefully, we will increase our output of podcast episodes in 2022.
Anyway, below are the 10 articles published in 2021 that were read the most. So, take a look at this list and be sure to check out any articles that you missed the first time.
1. The 35 Best Hockey Cards from 1990-91
Published on June 11, 2021
The first article on this list — coincidentally, also a list — gives a rundown of the best hockey cards from the 1990-91 season. This article had more visits than the other nine articles on this list combined. Not only that, but this story is also the third-most popular Puck Junk article of all time.
2. The Wyatt Russell Hockey Rookie Card
Published on April 21, 2021
Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, shot up in popularity earlier this year when he played Johnny Walker — a.k.a. Captain America and later U.S. Agent — in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney+. Russell used to play collegiate and minor-pro hockey, and had a “hockey rookie card” issued by Upper Deck a few years back when he co-starred in Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers.
3. The Best 2021-22 NHL Game-Night Giveaway Items
Published on October 12, 2021
People like getting free stuff at hockey games, and after 18 months of NHL games with few or no attendees, we finally saw the return of game-night giveaways at NHL games. This list gives a team-by-team breakdown of the best giveaways for the 2021-22 season.
4. Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2020-21 Season
Published on February 9, 2021
The rookie card of each and every NHL coach at the start of the 2020-21 season.
5. Review: The Mighty Ducks Game Changers, Season 1, Episode 9
Published on May 26, 2021
I wrote reviews for each and every episode of the new Mighty Ducks Game Changers series on Disney+. For some reason, my review of this episode, entitled “Head Games” and which does not have any hockey action at all, actually got a lot of reads. For what it’s worth, this episode was really good.
6. Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2021-22 Season
Published on November 16, 2021
We had two hockey seasons in 2021; thus, two articles in the same calendar year about the same topic. However, there were quite a few coaching changes between the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, making this article different enough than its predecessor.
7. Review: The Mighty Ducks Game Changers, Season 1, Episode 3
Published on April 9, 2021
My review of “Breakaway,” the third episode of The Mighty Ducks Game Changers. In this episode, Evan and his teammates try to convince Sofi to leave the Ducks and join the Don’t Bothers.
8. Review: The Mighty Ducks Game Changers, Season 1, Episode 1
Published on March 26, 2021
My review of the first episode of The Mighty Ducks Game Changers, which was entitled “Game On.”
9. Review: The Mighty Ducks Game Changers, Season 1, Episode 4
Published on April 16, 2021
Yes, I know…yet another Ducks review made this list. Episode 4 was entitled “Hockey Moms,” and was when Gordon Bombay started to break of of his shell a little and rekindle his love of hockey.
10. 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series Hobby Box Break
Published on August 6, 2021
A box break and review of the highly-anticipated 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series, which added another 230 cards to Upper Deck’s flagship release, and included many retro-esque inserts based on designs from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Thank you to everyone who visits this website and contributes to its success. I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2022!
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■