Saturday, December 13, 2008

Review: Upper Deck NHL MVP

When it comes to Upper Deck's affordable 2008-09 NHL MVP product, two things are guaranteed: You'll get a decent amount of rookie offerings and a silver foil signature adorns most every card.

This year's MVP Rookie crop -- an astounding 92 cards that I liken to poor man's Young Guns -- is the biggest draw of this product. You'll find this year's top three picks: Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, Los Angeles' Drew Doughty and Atlanta's Zach Bogosian. Columbus' Steve Mason, Toronto's Luke Schenn and Phoenix's Kyle Turris are in the mix, too.

Of our dozen, our best were Columbus' Derick Brassard, the Isles Kyle Okposo, and St. Louis' T.J. Oshie and Alex Pietrangelo. The rest of them? Well, I was a bit disappointed. I've had better draws.

Beyond the big names, and there are a few there, most of these rookies (including the rest of ours) make for good hounding stock. Sure, it's always a gamble to "deface" a rookie card, but this is an easy call.

When it comes to hounding, I tend to shy away from MVP's base set, and its familiar checklist, mostly because of the silver foil "autograph." It's a nice touch, I suppose, but I've seen player double-clutch before signing, and trot out the "I've already signed it" line.

This season's signatures appear to be larger and, in some cases, extremely thicker than in years past.

Puckhound's snapshot

Product: Upper Deck's 2008-09 NHL MVP
Vital stats: 300-card base set, with a Gold Script (#'d to 100) and Super Script (#'d to 25) parallels.
Hobby boxes: 24 packs (6 cards per pack), Two-on-Two Jerseys (double-sided, double swatch) memorabilia card (1:24), MVP Rookies (1:2), with Gold Script and Super Script parallels, and insert subsets (shown below): Alexander the Gr8 (1:12), First Line Phenoms (1:6), Magnificent Sevens (1:12) and Marked by Valor (1:6).

Something good: We pulled a sweet Two-on-Two jersey card and the product's affordability (hobby boxes about $45-$50; a retail 300-card box set, including a jersey card, for under $30).
Something bad: Just in case you missed it, there's this recurring issue. Not the best draw of MVP Rookies. Harsh ratio (1/288) for One-on-One Autographs -- dual-sided, two-player cards.
Something weird: Two Jason Blake cards in the base set.
Puckhound's score: 2 of 5 pucks

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