What has become one of my favorite products of the year has just been released, and I decided to go "All-In," picking up three boxes of 2013-14 Rookie Anthology.
While this product contains its own 100-card base set, the big draw is the hits, most of which are updated versions of previous releases, which is especially handy for early-season products that came out too early for some of the top 2013-14 rookies like Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones, Tomas Hertl, and others. What I love about the product, though, is all the extra hits that it contains. While Panini only guarantees four hits per box, two of which are autographed, most boxes actually contain five or six.
(NOTE: I am including a box of Rookie Anthology in my upcoming group break, so let this serve as a preview of what could potentially be had in that break. Follow THIS LINK for more details.)
So, without further ado, here's a quick look at what I pulled out of my first box:
While I didn't pull any Penguins out of this box, I did find quite a few players who changed teams at the trade deadline, wearing their new uniforms.
It isn't just the hits that get the update teatment. Score, Prizm, and Select base sets also got some new additions with players who changed teams midway through the season, along with some new rookies.
I also pulled an updated Titanium rookie card of Martin Marincin, numbered 27/85. These cards are serial-numbered to the player's jersey number, which isn't a huge deal for Marincin at #85, but if you can pull a defenseman wearing #3 or a goaltender who wears #1, you can get an incredibly valuable card.
This Colten Teubert, I think, is a sticker dump, seeing as though his rookie cards were in 2011-12. The 2008 1st round draft pick hasn't played in the NHL since 2011-12, and is currently playing for the Iserlohn Roosters of the DEL (Germany).
I also pulled an autographed Antti Raanta Prizm card. These are a little different than the original release, in that the cards from the regular set had a silver border, and these have a black one. Raanta became Chicago's permanent backup this season after Nikolai Khabibulin went out with an injury and did pretty well, finishing the 2013-14 season with a 13-5-4 record, a 2.71 GAA, and a .897 Save Pct.
Each box will contain at least one Rookie Treasures autographed dual-jersey card. These are the only "Rookie Anthology" inserts, and mine from this box was of Magnus Hellberg, numbered 232/249. Hellberg played just 12 minutes of one game during the 2013-14 season, making 3 saves on 4 shots faced.
One interesting thing with rookie Anthology, is that in some cases, you actually get leftover cards from last year, and in this case, that's perfectly fine with me. From 2012-13 Dominion, this is an amazing autographed patch card of San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, numbered 35/60. Usually, the best patch pieces come from the logo on the front of the jersey, but this may be an exception, as the name or number that this piece comes from gives it a great look at four bright, distinct colors.
Lastly, my box of Rookie Anthology contained a SECOND Dominion card. This one comes from the 2013-14 set and features Sean Monahan, Mike Cammalleri, Mark Giordano, and Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames. The quad jersey cards feature a swatch from each featured player, and this being the Prime Jersey Parallel, is numbered 5/10. The Wideman piece is actually the very first time I have seen a single-colored prime swatch, but it really isn't too bad, as it still contains the texture and the seam.
Immediately from box number one, I have fallen back in love with this product. Not only were there extra hits here, but Rookie Anthology actually contains Dominion cards! You get some amazing hits, plenty of bonuses, and this is still a relatively affordable box. Just like last year, Rookie Anthology pretty much contains the biggest bang for your buck of any hockey product out there.