2022-23 Upper Deck Synergy Box Break

First released during the 2017-18 season, Upper Deck Synergy hockey cards feature all the bells and whistles. Synergy cards are two layers thick. Like past years, the 2022-23 Synergy cards have a top layer that is printed on die-cut foil board, and a bottom layer is printed on clear plastic. 

One thing that makes Synergy an odd release is that the base cards are very hard to find. You read that right; the base cards are tough pulls. Synergy base cards of veteran players are serial-numbered to 13 copies each, while Synergy rookie cards are numbered to 23 copies each. What you will normally get in a box is mainly Red Parallels, which some may mistake for the base cards.

That said, Synergy is not a cheap product. A box has eight packs, with each pack containing three cards, for a total of 24 cards. When 2022-23 Synergy launched at the end of June 2023, a box was $100; now the price has settled to $85. 

I opened a hobby box of 2022-23 Synergy. Here is what was inside. 

0 Base Cards

Yep – zero base cards. As I mentioned above, base cards are harder to get than most of the parallels. This is one of those rare instances where if you pull a base card, it can be considered a “hit.” 

4 Red Parallels Cards

Red Parallel cards have a red tint to them, whereas the true base cards do not. The bottom layer is printed on clear plastic (acetate), while the top layer is printed on shiny, die-cut foil board. The small player head shot photo is see-through and is most-visible when held up to the light or put against a white surface. Overall, these cards look cool! I’d be tempted to build the whole set of these were not just four per box! 

Card backs have vitals like height and weight, a short biography, a season of stats, and career totals. 

Personally, I consider these the base cards, since you get them semi-regularly – that is, one in every other pack. The four Red Parallel cards I got are Jordan Eberle (Kraken), Jacob Slavin (Hurricanes), Brad Marchand (Bruins), and Zach Hayes (Golden Knights). 

4 Red Parallel – Codes Variants 

At first glance, you think these cards are the same as the other Red Parallels…

…but these have a scratch-off code on the back, which you can redeem as part of an Upper Deck Bounty Program. The four Red Parallels – Codes Variants I got in my box are Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), Sebastian Aho (Hurricanes), Fredrik Karlstrom (Stars), and Jordan Harris. 

1 Light Up the Night Insert

Next up is the Light Up the Night inserts. I got one in every other pack. One was of a veteran player, while the other three were of rookies. These cards are serial-numbered and look like something you’d find in Skybox Metal Universe.

Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), serial-numbered 622/899. 

Light Up the Night – Rookies

Next up, I got three Light Up the Night – Rookies inserts, which is a separate insert set from the Light Up the Night cards of veteran players. 

Jacob Perreault (Ducks), serial-numbered 563/899

Lukas Reichel (Blackhawks), serial-numbered 355/899

Nick Abruzzese (Maple Leafs), serial-numbered 246/399

3 Cranked Up! Inserts

Cranked Up! are new inserts for 2022-23 Synergy. These are printed on clear plastic and feature both current and retired players.

Johnny Bucyk (Bruins), serial-numbered 334/699

Tage Thompson (Sabres), serial-numbered 234/399

Jordan Harris (Canadiens), serial-numbered 164/249

2 Stars of the Show Inserts 

Star of the Show inserts are not printed on acetate, but they are printed on shiny foil board. They are also not serial-numbered. The two Star of the Show inserts in my box were Artemi Panarin (Rangers) and David Pastrnak (Bruins). 

2 20230 Inserts 

Like Star of the Show inserts, 2030 inserts are printed on shiny foil board and are not serial-numbered. The two 2030 inserts I got here are Matt Boldy (Wild) and Alex Newhook (Avalanche). 

1 Rookie Journey – Red 

This Rookie Journey Red Parallel card is of Jacob Perreault (Ducks) and is serial-numbered 220/499. 

1 Synergistic Duos Star-Legend 

John Carlson & Mike Gartner, serial-numbered 684/599. 

1 Synergistic Duos Star-Rookie Red 

Moritz Seider and Nicklas Lidstrom, serial-numbered 052/499. 

1 Thrill Rides

This  is my third Leon Draisaitl card in this box, FWIW. Thrill Rides inserts are shiny but not serial-numbered, and look like they’d be part of a set like MVP instead of Synergy.  

1 Autographed Card

Hot damn! I got an autographed card -of none other than Rookie of the Year Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken. The autograph is on a sticker that was later affixed to the card, which is serial-numbered 32/49. However, you don’t get an autographed card in every box. A case of 16 boxes has 6 autographs, which means you get an autographed card in every 2.6 boxes. 

Rating 2 out of 5

True, I did pull a fantastic autograph, and I do like the design of the Synergy cards – well, of the Red Parallels, anyway. But at around $100 per box, Synergy is a tough sell. You don’t get base cards, but rather parallel cards of the base cards – and you don’t even get a lot of those in a box if you did want to build that set, because there are so many different inserts and parallel versions of those inserts.

If you are pursuing the Bounty Program, you only get four Codes cards per box, but need 125 cards, so it’s going to take time, money, and effort. And you aren’t even guaranteed one autograph at that price; autographed cards are found on in every two to three boxes.

Case in point – the set has been out for over two months and most of the Achievement cards are still available, just waiting to be claimed. $85 to $100 a box is a big ask for a box that gives you so few cards, not many cards towards building a set, not many cards towards the Bounty Program, and MAYBE an autograph – but more likely not. You’re probably better off just scooping up the cards that you want off of COMC or eBay. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on 2022-23 Synergy, check out Episode #162 of the Puck Junk Podcast. 

Love hockey? Join the Puck Junk Facebook Group, listen to the Podcast, subscribe to the Newsletter and YouTube Channel, and support this site at the Online Shop


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *