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Hains – Upper Deck CHL 2018-2019 Product Review – Hockeybuzz.com

For a second year, Upper Deck has decided to release its CHL product featuring the prospects from all 3 CHL leagues; the LHJMQ, the OHL and the Western Hockey League. At a price of around $60 CAD plus tax giving you 12 packs of 16 cards this is a pretty cheap product to get and it’s ideal for junior hockey fanatics. There are plenty of markets in the country which aren’t deemed big or attractive enough for the NHL and that are throwing their enthusiasm at junior hockey, think of Quebec City for instance. Its Remparts are the only CHL team to have a top of the line NHL ready arena, of course that wasn’t the initial plan but it has to do for now.

The product is fairly big with a 400 cards checklist the last 100 card featuring the short print rookies, these average to one per pack. There are also a few type of parallels including Exclusives (/100) and High Gloss (/10) for the Star Rookies as well as printing plates and autographs for the entire set. The autographed cards average 1 per 8 packs, so each box should yield one autograph at least. On top of that, there are 3 insert sets; Top Level Talent (1:3), Scouting Report (1:3) and Memorial Cup Ambitions (1:6).

I did enjoy the break but I feel some improvements could be made…Firstly, if a player has been drafted or signed as a free agent by an NHL team, it wouldn’t hurt to put that team’s logo on his card (of course that would be more licensing fees I guess but at least a mention at the back of the card). Secondly, a mention of when each player is draft available (when applicable) wouldn’t go a miss either. Finally, I believe that the cards should be organized by teams or at list by league, as things stand you can see a Rimouski Oceanic’s card and the next one will be a Sault Ste.Marie’s Greyhounds, sort of feels like things could be better organized to make collectors’ life easier.

Grades
Design: 3.5/5
Value: 5/5
Resale value: 2/5
Variety: 4/5
Break enjoyment:4/5
Final grade: 74%

The issue with the design rests in the picture choices, quite a lot of the veterans have old pictures meaning that a goaltender who has player for years in the league can be sporting his rookie mask. Not a huge deal for some people but for fanatics of particular junior teams, it’s easy enough to notice. Hard to argue against the value of an Upper Deck product at this price point however, do not buy this to make a quick buck moving the hits. The rookie cards are junior rookies and unless you pull one of the big names, like Alexis Lafreniere for instance, you will not have a big bang for your buck. The fact that all 3 leagues are represented give a good enough variety but I guess that I wouldn’t have mind more insert sets, like for instance the CHL Day with the Memorial Cup which Upper Deck used in the Fall Expo promo packs or maybe something to do with the junior leagues hall of fames which could be called “Inductees”.

Habs wise, you’ll find base cards of players such as Nick Suzuki and Joel Teasdale but you may luck out and end up with their 1st round selection in June, you never know…Hard to put some names forward right now though. Should you be interested in any of the hits, please do let me know and i’ll send it your way. The cards were provided free of charge by Upper Deck so I feel it’s only far to spread the joy!

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