Box Details: 24 packs per box, 7 cards per pack, $40
From: Baseball Card Exchange
The base set is comprised of 165 cards. The veteran to young star/rookie ratio works out to 104:61. The veterans in this set, such as Nicklas Lidstrom, have red base cards while the young stars/rookies have yellow cards.
Here’s a look at your typical young star/rookie card. In addition to Ryan Miller, I also pulled rookies of Henrik Zetterberg, Jason Spezza, Rick Nash, Jay Bouwmeester, and Ales Hemsky, among others.
If there’s one negative about this product, here it is. These Silver parallels are found in every pack that does not contain a game-used or autographed card. That’s right, a decoy parallel. I don’t care much for the appearance of these cards and the fact that these will almost always come out of the pack with significant damage to their backs (lots of chipping around the edges) doesn’t help out.
Chris Osgood sure looks funny without the Winged Wheel on him.
Bowman Gold (1:11 packs, numbered to 250):
Marco Sturm (124/250), Jeff O’Neill (109/250)
Much like the Silver parallels, the Golds also have that glittery effect to them. Thankfully, these cards are the standard card size and aren’t particularly prone to damage.
According to the odds stated on the box, game-used or autographed cards are seeded 1 in every 6 packs. Sure enough, my box yielded 4 such “hits.” The first such hit was a Fabric of the Future jersey card of Brian Sutherby, a former first-round draft pick of the Washington Capitals (before they were the “cool” team to like). The great part about all the hits I received is the fact that jersey swatches are from uniforms used during the 2003 NHL YoungStars Game in Sunrise, Florida. Sutherby tallied 3 points and was named the game’s MVP as the East defeated the West 8-3. Unfortunately, his career never really panned out, unlike this next player….
I managed to pull one of the best possible FOTF cards in Rick Nash (Miller is the other). To sum things up, Nash is a former #1 draft pick who was an All-Star on multiple occasions, co-Rocket Richard Trophy winner in 2003-04, and has enjoyed great success in international play, representing Canada in the World Juniors, World Championships, and Olympics. And at age 25, he’s just starting to pad an already impressive resume.
Not all of the FOTF cards are single jersey cards. Here’s an example of a Rivals dual jersey card of Ossi Vaananen and Henrik Tallinder out of 250. Each FOTF variation has its own unique color scheme as evidenced above. Vaananen is currently playing in the KHL in Europe while Tallinder remains with the Buffalo Sabres.
I don’t know about all of you, but I find this card unintentionally hilarious. The two of them look like they’re guilty of something (especially Tallinder).
In addition to single jersey, stick, jersey/stick, and double jersey/stick combinations, each FOTF card has a patch variation as well. I pulled Niko Kapanen, a former NHL player now in the aforementioned KHL. Kapanen has plenty of international competition experience, earning medals in the World Juniors, World Championships (4 times), and each of the past 2 Winter Olympics.
Meh, a pretty boring patch card, but still a hard pull.
I was very pleasantly surprised to pull only 2 duplicates in the entire box. Plus, I got my 4 hits as the odds suggested, with a couple of them being long shots.
The condition of these cards was about what you would expect with black bordered cards. Overall, not too many base cards were damaged, but those Silver decoy/parallels brought the grade down a notch (though it’s not like anyone cares anyway).
The pulls earn an ‘A’ for the rookies alone. I hit all of the major RCs in this box and did pull a superstar jersey with the Nash. It was also nice to pull some of the rarer game-used variations even if the player selection wasn’t the best. I was very happy overall.
Once again, I went to the Baseball Card Exchange for a hockey box and seem to have bought the last one in stock. While they may be out of this particular product, they do have boxes of 2001-02 Bowman Youngstars in stock. The makeup is very similar (4 hits/box), but the rookie class may not have as many marquee names despite the presence of Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk. Those boxes are selling for just a little less than what I paid for this one. In any case, both boxes are worth the purchase for that particular price point, especially for the rookie/set collector who doesn’t care about the “big mojo hit.”
Overall Grade: A-