Not wanting to wait until I can go and purchase a hobby box, I went and got myself a blaster of 2012-13 Upper Deck Series 1. Like Topps baseball, Upper Deck is pretty much the base, flagship set among all brands, so I figured I'd pick up what I could.
I picked up three Penguins from the box, and apart from Evgeni Malkin (who will be in Series 2) and Kris Letang, these are the three that I would want to get. Of course, I will need to get another Crosby at some point for the set, as this one will be going to by player collection.
I pulled two Young Guns cards, which are less of a big deal than other years, as all of the 2012 draft picks are nowhere to be seen, due to the lockout. Players cannot have an NHL-licensed card until they play an official NHL game, so all of these guys are players who came in late last season or during the playoffs. Foucault and Prout combined for 6 games in 2011-12, with 0 goals and 0 assists. Awesome.
I do, however, love both of these inserts. The Canvas cards have a textured front and a different, but usually better, photograph than its base counterpart. The Hockey Heroes cards used to spotlight one particular player, but this year's (and last year's, I think) focuses on multiple players. I pulled one of Marcel Dionne, who I have always had an appreciation for, but doesn't seem to get any hobby love.
Finally, there were two MVP cards, one of Brad Richards and one of Alexander Burmistrov. I guess instead of releasing it as a low-end product, they decided to just include it as an insert set.
Overall, I really like this year's release, and since they are not trying to wedge in another sport with the same design, they are able to include the team logos on the front, which is a good thing. I'll definitely be picking up a box or two of this real soon.