Upper Deck Series Two usually comes out in March or April — just in time for the Spring Sport Card and Memorabilia Expo. However, with all of the delays and production problems, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-22 Upper Deck Series Two set did not see its release until mid June of 2022 — right as the Stanley Cup Final was underway. Late or not, Series Two is always a hotly-anticipated hockey card set, as it features cards of many rookies who made their debut earlier that season.
Originally a hobby box of Series Two was selling for around $100, but has since settled to about $90 per box. Each box has 24 packs, and each pack has eight cards. Let’s see what’s inside a hobby box of 2021-22 Upper Deck Series Two Hockey.
167 Base Cards
I really like the design of this year’s Upper Deck cards. Fronts feature two photos and use a border on the left-hand side. Granted, the photography is not as exciting as it usually is. Maybe less photographers were at the games during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, or maybe they couldn’t get the unique angles they needed to take more-exciting photographs. Just imagine this design with the type of photos that Upper Deck usually uses on its flagship set.
Card backs are great because they have players’ complete career statistics, or nearly-complete stats if they’ve played more than 20 seasons. Fortunately, only very few players currently in the league have that many years of stats.
6 Young Guns Rookie Cards
Young Guns…you know, the reason why we buy 10 boxes of Upper Deck. As you can see, I got a Young Guns rookie card of Quinton Byfield of the Kings. The other five Young Guns I got were Jan Jenik (Coyotes), Ivan Prosvetov (Coyotes…again!), Anton Lundell (Panthers), Benoit-Olivier Groulx, and Brandon Duhame (Wild).
4 O-Pee-Chee Update
A total of 50 different O-Pee-Chee Update cards are seeded in packs of Upper Deck Series Two. My box had four OPC Update cards: veteran Keith Yandle, as well as rookies Taylor Raddysh, Jonathan Dahlen, and Ivan Prosvetov (again!!). Since I build O-Pee-Chee every year, I’m glad any time I get one of these.
2 O-Pee-Chee Retro Update
Love, love, love the look of the OPC Retro set, but I’m not collecting them, other than the odd Blackhawks card. OPC Retros use a close-up photo. The two I got were of Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and Avalanche rookie winger Sampo Ranta.
1 O-Pee-Chee Update Blue Parallel
Another parallel cuz Deck gonna Deck! This one is a Marquee Rookie (or Recrue de Renom as our French-speaking friends say) of Devils winger Marian Studenic.
1 French Parallel
This “Variante Francaise” is of Nick Cousins of the Nashville Predators. You get these French Parallels only in hobby boxes.
2 UD Portraits
Both of the UD Portraits I pulled were of rookie players: Jesse Ylonen (Canadiens) and Hendrix Lapierre (Capitals).
2 Honor Roll
I still don’t like Honor Roll because they are redundant of UD Portraits. So, they are pretty unnecessary, but I’m sure someone likes them. I got Nikolaj Ehlers and Hendrix Laperierre, LOL again!
1 Honor Roll Rainbow Parallel
SHINY CARD MAKE RAINBOW!!!
(Jake Neighbours; I wonder what it’s like having him as a neighbor?)
1 Blue Dazzlers
I’ve been a fan of the Dazzlers insert set since it debuted in 2020-21. Since it is so expansive — and has so many color variations — that I just stick to picking up Dazzlers cards of players I collect. Mark Giordano looks like he is getting swallowed by a sea of blue!
4 UD Canvas
Some of the best and/or most-unique photos are used on the UD Canvas insert set. If it wasn’t so daunting to put together, I would seriously consider building this set-within-a-set. The four UD Canvas inserts I got were Artemi Panarin (Rangers), Blake Wheeler (Jets), Brendan Gallagher (Canadiens), and Dylan Strome (Blackhawks).
Wait…make that FIVE UD Canvas inserts…
1 UD Canvas Retired Stars (SSP)
Bernie! These UD Canvas cards of Retired Stars are found only one in every 192 packs; about once in every eight hobby boxes. I like this card of Flyers’ legend Bernie Parent, but I wish he was wearing a Flyers jersey. Still, an interesting, candid shot of the Hall of Fame goaltender showing off his old school chest protector.
Upper Deck’s flagship release continues to be my favorite hockey set every year. And fortunately, Series Two hobby boxes are relatively-affordable at around $90 per box. Some of the Young Guns you can hope to pull include rookie-of-the-year Moritz Seider and World Junior Championship MVP Mason McTavish, as well as exciting prospects young stars like Alex Newhook, Quinton Byfield, Lucas Raymond, Andon Lundell, and Dawson Mercer. You also get one, or sometimes two, insert cards per pack.
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.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■