Premier Hockey is another high-quality, premium set by Upper Deck, similar to Stature and Ultimate Collection, which offer just a handful of cards per box. And like Stature and Ultimate Collection, the 2020-21 Premier Hockey set came out almost a good year after intended, as it was released towards the end of the 2021-22 season. This is great if you are still hoping to get rookie cards of Kirill Kaprizov, Alexis Lafreniere, or other players who made their debut during the shortened 2020-21 season.
2020-21 Premier Hockey costs around $400 for a six-card box. Every box should net you three autograph and/or memorabilia cards, plus an acetate autographed patch card. Well, that last card has me intrigued; it has an autograph, a piece of jersey patch AND is an acetate card, a la “Clear Cut.” I can’t wait to see what that looks like! You also get an additional numbered rookie card and a base card — or a parallel of either.
OK, let’s open this bad boy up and see what we’ve got!
1 Autographed Rookie Card
Fortunately, the Autographed Rookie Cards feature the signature on the card itself, instead of a sticker. Jake Evans seems to follow me around, as I also got an autographed card of his when I opened a bunch of 2020-21 Skybox Metal Universe blaster boxes last fall. (We did a podcast about that set, too.) Oddly enough, this card is NOT serial-numbered, though it does replace the silver foil with rainbow foil.
1 Rookie Card
The regular Rookie Cards are numbered out of 299 and use silver foil instead of rainbow foil like the autographed cards. I also seem to be getting quite a few Liam Foudy cards; I am still debating if I really want to start player collecting his cards, or if I just like his name because it sounds like “foodie.”
1 Base Card
Ah, the base cards. You know, the cards that no one really seems to want or keep when buying a $400 box of cards. This Mitch Marner card is also numbered out of 299. I like that the veteran cards and rookie cards share almost the same design, albeit mirror image of each other.
1 “Rookie Paramount” Jersey Card
Was this green jersey piece cut from a jersey that was worn by Joel Kiviranta during a game? Or during a rookie photo shoot? Maybe he slept in the jersey. Who knows! All Upper Deck says on the back is that it was “worn by the featured player.” Well…at least it isn’t a white jersey swatch. Curious that this card is NOT numbered, though.
1 “Premier Attractions” Jersey Card
On the other hand, this “Premier Attractions” jersey card of Sean Couturier is numbered 49/99 and has a nice orange jersey swatch, so that ain’t too shabby.
1 Acetate Rookie Auto Patch Card #/99
Or make that a REDEMPTION CARD for an Acetate Rookie Auto Patch card. When redeemed, this will get me such a card of Buffalo Sabres young star Dylan Cozens. Am I disappointed for getting a redemption card? Eh…not really, as I know that Upper Deck — not counting Styrene-gate — would rather get the product right than just rush something out. Besides, if they can’t deliver what is promised on a redemption card, they usually replace it with something equally-cool or better. I just hope I get the card before Cozens retires 🙂
$400 for six cards is a steep price, but what it yields is nice. You get at least two autographs — one being an RPA — plus at least one more rookie card. Collectors buy sets like Premier because of the rookie cards, so having three of my six cards be RCs is a pretty good ratio. At this price, though, every card should be serial-numbered, ESPECIALLY the jersey cards, which struggle to hold value on the secondary market. Premier costs about 50% more than Ultimate Collection and almost double that of Stature, but I feel the extra autograph and overall better cards makes it worthwhile. Being guaranteed an acetate RPA, another rookie card, and another autograph (which could also be a rookie card) makes Premier worth the added expense.
Are you collecting 2020-21 Premier Hockey? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■