If you collect Upper Deck Series One, then collecting Upper Deck Series Two is a must. The 2022-23 Upper Deck Series Two set features 200 base cards and 50 Young Guns rookie cards. The Young Guns are short-prints that are seeded one in every four packs.
While I opened a box of Series Two a few months ago (to discuss in Episode #154 of the Puck Junk Podcast), I still wanted to post a full box break so you could see the sheer variety of inserts that you get in a box.
168 Base Cards
My box of Upper Deck Series Two had 168 base cards. None were doubles of each other. As I explained in my box break of Series One, I find the base card design a little odd; it doesn’t really feel like an Upper Deck Series One/Two/Extended design, but rather a design that would be more appropriate for Upper Deck AHL or another set. It’s still a good design, but not necessarily the right design.
6 Young Guns Rookie Cards
The most important cards in the box are the Young Guns. I got six, which is what you can expect in a hobby box. The Young Guns I got are Shane Wright (Kraken), Brandon Baddock (Canadiens), Casey Fitzgerald (Sabres), Brandon Biro (Sabres), John Lizotte (Wild), and Brandt Clarke (Kings).
4 UD Canvas Cards
While I don’t build the UD Canvas set, a lot of collectors do. The four Canvas cards I got were Sam Bennett, Ryan Hartman, Elias Pettersson, and Sebastian Aho – the one who plays for the Hurricanes 🙂
1 UD Canvas Young Guns Card
I also got a UD Canvas Young Guns cards of Samuel Poulin.
2 Lunch Box Legends
Lunch Box Legends is my new favorite insert set – and yes, I will try to put this one together. Cale Makar and Filip Forsberg were the two Lunch Box Legends in my lunch, er, hobby box.
2 UD Rookies Portraits
I think this year’s UD Portraits have a very snazzy design. The yellow lines and black border kind of reminds me of a “DANGER! HIGH VOLTAGE!” sign. The two Portraits I pulled were Elmer Soderblom and Cole Koepke.
2 Honor Roll
I find the Honor Roll cards very redundant, since they are just portraits cards, but not called Portraits. The two Portraits I got were Wyatt Johnston and Nick Blankenburg.
1 World Junior Grads
These cards reprise the look of the World Junior Grads cards from the 1992-93 Upper Deck set. Auston Matthews was the only World Junior Grads card that I got. There are only 25 cards in this insert set, so I plan on putting it together.
1 Calder Candidates
Owen Power was the Calder Candidate card in my box. These cards have an interesting design, resembling a political campaign poster.
1 Instant Impressions
With the thick white borers and faded colors in the photo, these Instant Impressions look like old Polaroid photos from the 1980s. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was the Instant Impressions insert in my box.
1 Blue Dazzlers
Blue Dazzlers fall one per hobby box. I got Ben Meyers of the Colorado Avalanche.
1 Welcome To…
Welcome To…inserts look like a postcard that you’d get at a gift shop in a touristy area. Arizona was my lone Welcome To…insert.
1 French Parallel
Anze Kopitar was the “Variante Francaise” that I got. Half the time, I don’t even notice the French Variants until I’m later sorting the cards.
1 MVP Curves & Contours /250
The Curves & Contours cards are printed on a shiny foil stock with red foil stamping. Erik Kallgren played 24 games over the past two seasons with the Maple Leafs, then signed with the Devils in the offseason. This card is numbered 240/250.
Like Series One, Series Two get 4.5 out of 5 pucks. The only thing that keeps this set from getting a perfect score is the price. Series Two launched at $120 per box, then settled down to around $95. $4 per pack is steep – and it will get only more expensive in 2023-24, but we will worry about that later.
Price aside, Upper Deck Series Two is a great set and worth the money and effort to put together – even if just for a base set. You get one insert per pack, which to me is the “just right” amount, including six Young Guns.
If your only concern is getting base cards and Young Guns, but not necessarily as many of the other inserts, then you might want to look into Mega Boxes or Collectors Tins at retail, which have less inserts, but the same odds for Young Guns. Either way, Upper Deck Series Two is a set worth building – especially if you are building the first series.