Adam Fantilli, Collecting Hockey, Connor Bedard, Leo Carlsson, Upper Deck

Upper Deck’s 2023 Rookie Showcase Kicks Off New NHL Season

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and Upper Deck are hosting the 13th annual NHLPA Rookie Showcase on Tuesday, Sept. 5 with 35 NHL prospects and rookies scheduled to attend. This unique event provides Upper Deck – the official trading card partner of the NHLPA and the NHL – with an opportunity to capture photographs and videos of many of the game’s top young prospects and rookies in their official NHL team uniforms.

The photos, videos and content will be used by Upper Deck to create the players’ first NHL and NHLPA-licensed rookie trading cards, as well as additional promotional materials throughout the season and beyond.

Connor Bedard Among Group of 35 Prospects and Rookies Scheduled To Attend

The 13th Annual NHLPA Rookie Showcase is going to be extra special this year as 2023 first-overall draft pick Connor Bedard is scheduled to be in attendance. Cards created for Bedard and signed by him will be in high demand as he is thought by many to be a generational talent. His stock will no doubt rise throughout his career, and collectors would be wise to stock up on his rookie cards and memorabilia as it’s sure to increase in value with every milestone he reaches in his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Connor Bedard Chicago Blackhawks
Connor Bedard, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Paul Zickler, senior sports brand manager at Upper Deck, spoke about this year’s showcase being truly special, “This is one of the deepest rosters we’ve had at the Rookie Showcase. The top three picks from the 2023 NHL Draft, Connor Bedard, Leo Carlsson, and Adam Fantilli are all scheduled to attend as well as some of the best young prospects in the world. This event really sets the stage for the hockey calendar – especially for collectors.”

One of the Deepest Groups of Young Stars in the World

The 2023 NHLPA Rookie Showcase features some of the best players drafted over the past two seasons and includes players projected to be early-season candidates for the Calder Trophy.

Related: NHL’s 2023-24 Calder Trophy Race Will Be Elite


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Players scheduled to attend include everyone from Bedard, Carlsson and Fantilli to Logan Cooley, Sebastian Cossa, Dustin Wolf, Luke Evangelista, Matthew Knies and Xavier Bourgault.

New Upper Deck Cards And Memorabilia to Roll Out Soon

Early this season the 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey will debut with some new content and format tweaks. Collectors can count on several differences in the 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey checklist compared to the norm. Look for new parallels across the base set and Young Guns. The main set stays with 250 cards, featuring 200 veteran cards and 50 Young Guns (1:2 packs) cards. Three of these are checklists (two base veterans and one Young Guns CL). Debuts include Outburst Silver, Deluxe (#/250), Outburst Red (#/25), and Outburst Gold (1/1) parallels for the base cards and Young Guns. 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey supplies another 120 cards in the UD Canvas (1:24 packs) lineup. The Upper Deck Canvas Young Guns (1:24 packs) cards are part of the set. Parallels include one-of-one Printing Plates and Hobby-only Black and White versions (Base – 1:48 packs; Young Guns – 1:144 packs).

Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Will Smith, Matthew Wood, Ryan Leonard, Zach Benson, Nate Danielson Oliver Moore 2023 NHL Draft
Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Will Smith, Matthew Wood, Ryan Leonard, Zach Benson, Nate Danielson, and Oliver Moore 2023 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Among the many inserts for 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey, collectors can expect to find returning favorites, updated insert lines and all-new themed sets. Looking to the debuts first, 200′ x 85′ (1:6 packs) – these cards pay homage to the rink while celebrating top stars and rookies. Keep an eye out for the one-of-one Black version.

Look For Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Bedard Young Guns Rookie Later This Season

One of the most anticipated cards for collectors will be Bedard’s Upper Deck Young Guns rookie card which will debut later in the 2023-24 NHL season. Based on the success of similar generational stars such as Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews in their rookie years, Bedard’s official Upper Deck cards and memorabilia will no doubt be in high demand from the moment it’s released.


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