2021-22 Upper Deck Series One Hobby Box Break

The one set that I look forward to is Upper Deck’s flagship release — a.k.a. Upper Deck Series One, Upper Deck Series Two, and for the first time last year, Upper Deck Extended Series. This season, I had to look forward a bit longer, as production delays pushed Upper Deck Series One’s release date from November 2021 to March 2022. 

But it’s March and I finally got my hands on a hobby box. Like last year, a hobby box of Upper Deck Series One has 24 packs. Each pack has eight cards. Let’s take a look and see what was inside my box of 2021-22 Upper Deck Series One Hockey. 

168 Base Cards

Base cards use full-bleed photos and have a border on the left edge. A different, black-and-white photo is also used on the front on the lower left corner. Personally, I am a fan of NOT having a border along the bottom edge of a hockey card, as many times those crop or cover up the puck 0r the player’s stick blade. 

That same black-and-white photo is used again in color on the back of the card. I like that Upper Deck uses two different photograph because it allows them to be creative with the main photo on the front (which might not show a good shot of the player’s face) but then have a decent “head shot” photo on the front and on the back. Card backs also have complete player stats, and not just the past five seasons like most Upper Deck cards. 

I know that some have complained about getting defective base cards. In last year’s Upper Deck set, I got quite a few defective base cards. This year, none of the base cards were defective.

HOWEVER, I did pull 12 doubles in the same box. That’s a bummer. If you get 168 base cards in a box, and the base set is 200 cards, then you should not get any doubles. This is probably the first time in 15 years — when I started buying Series One and Series Two again in 2006-07 — that I got doubles of base cards in the same hobby box. 

6 Young Guns Rookie Cards

Young Guns — the main reason why anyone buys more than one or two boxes of this set — are found on in every four packs. Many of the 50 Young Guns in this year’s Series One set made their NHL debut late last season. The six Young Guns that I pulled were Jeremy Swayman, Tarmo Reunanen, Rasmus Kupari, Radim Zohorna, Jacob Bryson, and Jeffrey Viel. 

4 UD Canvas Inserts

Canvas inserts are back once again. I got Dougie Hamilton, Quinn Hughes, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Jamie Benn. Canvas cards look nice, and if it wasn’t such a tough set to put together — yes, there are short-printed Canvas Young Guns, too — I would consider it. But some collectors really like the Canvas inserts. I don’t blame them. Upper Deck usually selects some interesting and/or offbeat photos for the Canvas inserts. 

3 Electromagnetic Inserts

Electromagnetic is a new insert set for 2021-22 and I like it. It’s colorful and kind of reminds me of printing plates. And the insert name sounds cool. The three Electromagnetic inserts I got were Johnny Gaudreau, David Perron, and Connor Garland. 

2 UD Portraits Inserts

The usually-popular UD Portraits also make their return for 2021-22. Instead of the 1990’s, “Saved By the Bell” design that the set used last year, Portraits go with sepia-toned photos this season, given them an old timey look. The two Portraits I pulled from my box were Alex Ovechkin and Auston Matthews. Not a bad pair of inserts to get! 

2 Honor Roll Inserts

Honor Roll inserts use portrait photos of popular players. Which begs the question, do we need two “portrait-type” insert sets? I get that Honor Roll was its own standalone set in the early 2000s, but here it feels redundant of the actual Portraits insert set. Adam Fox and Mark Scheifele were the two Honor Roll cards found in my box.

1 Dazzlers Inserts

Dazzlers is back for a second season and somehow manages to improve on last year’s stellar design. The scan above does it no justice. Dazzlers are the type of cards that look best in person. The background foil has a sort of kaleidoscope effect; tilt the card and the pattern changes. It looks like fireworks! Seriously, these are awesome. If these weren’t so tough to pull — I only got a Tim Stutzle Dazzlers insert in my hobby box — I would consider getting all of these. Heck, I might try anyway. These Dazzlers inserts are almost hypnotic to look at when you move them around in direct light. 

1 Hundo P Insert

I guess this insert set is for players who give 100% — or “Hundo P” for short? (And here I thought hockey players gave 110%.) It’s an eye-catching design that looked familiar to me, and I quickly figured out what it reminded me of.

Both the Hundo P insert and the Spider-Man comic book have a figure busting out of a circle with repeating numbers in the background. Maybe someone at Upper Deck likes comic books? Regardless, the Hundo P inserts look good. 

1 Rookie Retrospective Insert

An insert set based on the rookies from last season. I got Josh Norris. These recap the player’s rookie year and how he did. 

1 Debut Dates Inserts

Wait…another insert set about last year’s rookies? This set focuses on how the player did in his first NHL game. 

What’s next — an insert set called “First Shift,” that recaps the rookie’s first shift? Even if they did, nothing can top Mario Lemieux’s first NHL shift

1 Clear Cut Parallel

These are nice, and frankly, I wish all trading cards were made out of plastic like these Clear Cut parallels. Not necessarily out of clear plastic, since you can see the text on the back side. I got William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights. 

1 Suit Parallel

These cards could also be called “On My Way to the Rink,” since they show players (usually) wearing their finest threads when they are heading to the game. I got Cale Makar, who continues to get better every year. 

1 Young Guns French Parallel

At first I thought I had somehow beaten the odds and received a 7th Young Guns rookie card in my box. But upon closer inspection, I saw that this was a French Young Guns. This one is of Matt Kiersted of the Florida Panthers. 

Upper Deck Series One, Series Two, and now Extended Series continue to be THE set that I will go out of my way to collect every season. So why did I rate this at 4.5 instead of 5? My only sticking point is price. Hobby boxes of Series One are selling for around $140 per box online, which is close to $6 per pack. The price is even higher if you buy it from a local hobby shop.

It is les expensive if you buy mega boxes (10 packs for $40) or blaster boxes (6 packs for $20). But if you like getting more inserts and the possibility of pulling an autographed card or a jersey card, then Hobby boxes are the way to go. Each and every of my 24 hobby packs had an insert card. 

Cost concerns aside, Upper Deck Series One is, as usual, a great-looking set of hockey cards and has a solid rookie class this year, including Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and Spencer Knight. 

Are you building Upper Deck Series One, Series Two, and Extended Series this season? Leave a comment and let me know, or hit me up on Twitter

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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

4 thoughts on “2021-22 Upper Deck Series One Hobby Box Break”

  1. Thanks as always for the great content. I bought two hobby boxes and was able to put together a full base set…

    So when is the next podcast?

    Now that work has me traveling again, you and Tim are prefect company for getting me through a flight!

    Miss you guys!!

    1. Hi Wade, thank you for the comment and for listening to our podcast. Life has thrown both Tim and I some unexpected stuff over the past few weeks, so the podcast had to go on a temporary hiatus. But I hope to have our next episode recorded and out within the first week of April 2021. Thank you again for your support!

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