About a week ago, I found some old hockey cards getting dusty in my closet. As I sorted through, I noticed a handful of Golden Knight players. I found old Cody Eakin, Deryk Engelland, Marc-Andre Fleury, and multiple James Neal cards.
After trading VGK players with my one-year-old, I thought, screw these old cards. We need the 2017-18 Golden Knights player cards. It was time to reach out to Upper Deck, the crown jewel of trading cards. Player artwork, autographs, jersey swatches, and stick inserts are what UD excels in. In fact, this Upper Deck card got me amped for an eventual Erik Brannstrom Rookie Profile card.
I learned a lot about the trading card industry. It’s a slow but advanced process. I get it, we’re working with artists. For some reason, there is never enough time between seasons for trading card companies. For instance, players that relocate during the offseason usually get stuck in a previous team’s jersey on their new card. For example, Neal’s first Golden Knight’s card would likely be a picture of the forward in Predators yellow. So, that’s what I expected. Unfortunately, I was deeply disappointed.
When Upper Deck released their 2017-18 NHL MVP series checklist, the Golden Knights were completely invisible. Not one Vegas card was printed by Upper Deck for their first released series. It doesn’t end with UD, it’s possible other Golden Knight trading cards (O-pee-chee, Panini, Topps) won’t be available to start the season either. Here’s the Upper Deck team checklist, take a look.
It was April when UD began to promote their 2017-18 NHL MVP cards, which made it literally impossible for Upper Deck to include the Golden Knights. In fact, it’s clear UD never intended to release Vegas player cards. Their first set of hockey cards will offer several VGK players, but with no mention of their new team. The players labeled below are on new 2017-18 UD hockey cards as members of their old teams. It’s kinda like buying pictures of your wife, hugging her old boyfriend Brad.
VGK Players (sorta) in 2017-2018 UD’s MVP series set
Florida Panthers: Jonathan Marchessault (2 separate cards), Reilly Smith (2 separate cards)
Colorado Avalanche: Calvin Pickard (2 separate cards)
Minnesota Wild: Alex Tuch (2 separate cards)
Nashville Predators: James Neal (2 separate cards)
As I noted, this is the first sub-series released by Upper Deck for the 2017-2018 NHL season. It’s entirely possible UD has unannounced plans for Vegas fans. Possibly, a special edition Golden Knights team set. Upper Deck has four more NHL sets scheduled; 9/27-UD Artifacts Hockey, 10/10-UD Overtime Hockey, 11/9-UD Series 1 Hockey, 11/29-UD Black Diamond Hockey. O-Pee-Chee releases their 2017-2018 NHL set in early September.
O-Pee-Chee is boasting their insert game, but I doubt any Vegas players will be featured. Expect Golden Knight jersey swatches, patches and stick insert cards for 2018-19. The reality is, all 2017-18 VGK cards will feature players in outdated jerseys. Hopefully, Brad’s friggin’ name will be crossed out.
I don’t know much about sports card collecting, is this normal? In the same series is Bonino still a Penguin? Is Radulov still a Canadien? This is kinda sucky, but probably not a big deal either way; though I’m curious if every other team got the changes made, but not VGK.