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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Olli Maatta Rookie from 2013-14 Upper Deck Ice

With new rookie cards coming out in the double rookie class, Beau Bennett, and in some cases Jeff Zatkoff, are the only cardboard debuts of Pittsburgh Penguins players early in the hockey card collecting season. With the 2013-14 season underway for a few months already, enough time has gone by to include rookies debuting this year, including Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta. One of his first available rookie cards is this one from 2013-14 Upper Deck Ice, numbered 105/499

Maatta was one of those players at the beginning of the season who was being tested to see if he was ready for full-time NHL action, or if he needed another year in juniors. Well, he played himself into a job, proving to be too good to send back, and has found himself a permanent spot on the Penguins' defensive squad. He got off to a good start this season, scoring seven points in his first 28 games. Injuries to the Penguins' blue line gave him the opportunity for more ice time, and he took advantage of it, scoring seven points in the next 12 games. Maatta appears to be the kind of player who really rises to the occasion when given a chance, which is what the Penguins need when the playoffs come around.

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