2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Hobby Box Break

Each year, hockey card collecting really doesn’t heat up until the release of Upper Deck Series One. Sure, there are other sets released before Series One launches, usually in November. But it is Series One that gets everyone excited about hockey card collecting — from the casual collectors, to the die-hard hockey peeps, to the breakers, speculators and “hobby bros..” It’s the new crop of Young Guns rookie cards that gets everyone involved. 

Like it has been for over a decade, a box of Upper Deck Series One has 24 packs per box, with each pack containing eight cards. I recently got my hands on a hobby box of 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey. Let’s take a look at what I got. 

168 Base Cards

My box of 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey had 168 base cards. Every pack had seven base cards and one insert (more on the inserts in a bit). None of the 168 base cards were doubles, which I would expect since there are 200 base cards to collect.

While I generally like the design of the 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One base cards, something about the design feels a bit…off. This design looks more appropriate for Upper Deck’s “Power Play” sets from the late 2000s. And the team name — printed in white text against a silver stripe — is barely a whisper and easy to overlook. The design isn’t necessarily bad; it just doesn’t feel right for Upper Deck’s flagship set. 

The backs also don’t feel like a “Series One” design, as they have only five years of stats plus totals. Traditionally, Upper Deck cards would list out up to 20 years of stats. 

6 Young Guns Rookie Cards

One in every four packs of Series One has a Young Guns rookie card. While I’m not a fan of the base set design, I do like the look of this year’s Young Guns subset. With several big-name rookies in Series One — like Matt Boldy, Matty Beniers, and Owen Power — there is a lot of incentive to buy multiple boxes. The Young Guns in my box were Jeff Malott (Jets), Jack McBain (Coyotes), Kaedan Korczak (Golden Knights), Jordan Spence (Kings), Marc McLaughlin (Bruins), and the Young Guns Checklist picturing Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi (both from the Wild). 

1 Clear Cut Parallel

You get one Clear Cut card per box. Clear Cut cards are printed on plastic and have see-through areas. I got Tyler Toffoli of the Flames. 

1 French Young Guns Parallel 

You also get one French Parallel per box — usually, it’s of a base card, but sometimes it is of a Young Guns rookie card. This “Jeunes Loups” card is of Kent Johnson (Blue Jackets). 

3 UD Canvas Inserts 

Each box has four UD Canvas cards. Upper Deck usually reserves the offbeat or oddball photos for the UD Canvas insert set. I do wish they would refrain from using a photo of the player from behind  — at least on the front of the card. 

1 UD Canvas Young Guns

Carson Meyer (Blue Jackets) was the UD Canvas Young Guns in my box. Boy, this box break is really looking good for Columbus fans. 

3 Debut Dates Inserts

Debut Dates is one of those sets that seem more like an excuse to make more cards of last year’s rookies. The cards are printed on shiny stock and look pretty nice, though. 

2 Center Of Attention Inserts 

Center of Attention is a new insert set that feels like a design mash-up of 2005-06 Upper Deck Ice Rookie Premiers..

2005-06 Ice #214 - Andrei Kositsyn
2005-06 Ice Rookie Premieres

…and the Shining Stars inserts from 2013-14 Upper Deck.

2013-14 Upper Deck Shining Stars inserts

But I guess all cards with giant circles in the background start to look alike after a while. 

2 UD Portraits Inserts

UD Portraits this year look good. I like that these are more mid-range photos that show the player’s jersey and team logo, as it makes it feel less like the next insert set…

2 Superstar Honor Roll Inserts

Last year, I thought that the Honor Roll inserts were redundant, considering that there were also UD Portraits. (Really, how many portrait-type inserts do we need?) But while both UD Portraits and Honor Roll inserts have diagonal stripes, they look and feel different enough to justify having both in the same set. 

1 Rookie Retrospective Inserts

So, we have Debut Dates AND Rookie Retrospectives? Mmmkay. Seems like these ideas can be combined, but whatever. Like the Debut Dates, these Rookie Retrospective cards use a shiny foil background. This card is of Lucas Raymond of the Red Wings. 

1 Defense Mechanism Inserts

Funny name for an insert set that I’m guessing is about defensemen. I got Moritz Seider (Red Wings), who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year for the 2021-22 season. 

1 Dazzlers Inserts

Dazzlers is back for a third season, and I’m good with that. Even though I don’t chase down every Dazzlers card — including all the various color parallels — I think it is one of the best insert sets in recent memory, and I am glad that Upper Deck has decided to continue it for another year. 

2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey is a set that every hockey collector — from casual to serious — should make room for in their collection. The price, about about $100 USD per box at launch, is kind of steep, considering that there are really no big “hits” in the box. But I guess the Young Guns count as the “hits,” since that’s why everyone goes after this set. You do get one insert per pack, which lessens the sting of paying $4+ per pack. But if you are only after base cards and Young Guns, you can same some money and buy Blaster Boxes or Mega Boxes at retail, which have less inserts, but the same odds of pulling Young Guns as the Hobby Boxes. 

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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

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