Where have all the Young Guns gone? Pt 4

17 05 2008

See parts one, two, and three for more info. In short, a look at Young Guns from the Upper Deck flagship hockey release and whether they were truly worthy of Young Gun status.

Format remains card number, player, 07/08 team (if any), and if the player ever appeared on an Upper Deck series 1 or 2 release again. Information culled from the Internet Hockey Database. Part four covers the series 2 release from 01/02. Here you go:

412 Timo Parssinen – 27 points in 34 games for Timra IK (Sweeden).  Timo won numerous awards for his 2004 campaign in the Finnish elite league, so it’s clear he had potential, however he only put up 3 points for the Ducks in 17 games in the NHL.  No Upper Deck releases followed.
413 Ilya Bryzgalov –  Played 55 games for the Phoenix Coyotes, sporting a .921 sv % and a 2.42 GAA.  Often overshadowed by JS Giguere in Anaheim, Bryzgalov was quite the waiver claim for the Coyotes last year.  Featured on cards since 05/06.
414 Kevin Sawyer –  Retired from hockey.  Sawyer was an enforcer and even made one of my fantasy hockey rosters one year when I was starved for PIMs.  Sawyer ended up with 403 PIMs and 3 goals in 100 career games in the NHL.  He did not appear in any future sets.
415 Kamil Piros – Played for the Cologne Sharks (German).  Reappeared on a 03/04 Upper Deck cards after he scored 5 points in 3 games during the 02/03 season, but ended his NHL career with 8 points in 24 games.
416 Ivan Huml – Skated for Mora IK (Sweeden).  Ivan left for Europe during the lockout and never returned.  Appeared in no future sets.
417 Scott Nichol – 73 games for the Nashville Predators, scoring 18 points and 72 PIMs.  “Scooter” has had a solid career, but no Upper Deck cards.    
418 Jukka Hentunen – 28 pts in 34 games for Kazan Ak-Bars (Russia).  No cards since.
419 Erik Cole – Tough scoring winger for the Carolina Hurricanes.  Certainly qualifies as a Young Gun.  Cards ever since.
420 Ben Simon – Played for the Springfield Falcons (AHL).  Ben’s played mostly in the AHL, but has played 81 games over the course of four years, scoring 3 goals and 47 PIMs.  No cards.
421 Niko Kapanen – Played 79 games for the Phoenix Coyotes, scoring 28 points.  Featured since the 03/04 release.
422 Pavel Datsyuk – All star center for the Detroit Red Wings, last year with 97 points.  Also the winner of the Lady Byng trophy two years running.  Certainly qualifies as a Young Gun, with cards ever since.
423 Ty Conklin – Played 33 games for the Penguins, putting up a .923 sv %.  Conklin spent most of his time with the Oilers, and has appeared in the last two outdoor classics.  Cards from 03/04 to 05/06.
425 Niklas Hagman – Scored a career best 27 goals for the Dallas Stars in 82 games.  Hagman is part of the first Finnish father son tandem to play in the NHL (his father last played in 1992).  One Upper Deck card in the 05/06 release.
426 Kristian Huselius – A scoring LW for the Calgary Flames, putting up 66 points in 81 games.  Appeared in all releases except for 05/06.
427 Jaroslav Bednar – 36 points, 61 PIMs in 40 games for Slavia Praha HC (Czech).  Had some minor success in the NHL, but chose to stay overseas after the lockout.  No other Upper Deck releases.
428 Nick Schultz – 81 games for the Minnesota Wild, 15 points and 42 PIMs.  Nick is defensive defenseman with cards in 05/06 and 06/07. 
429 Travis Roche – Played for the San Antonio Rampage, scoring 41 points in 71 games.  No cards since.
430 Martin Erat – Has emerged as a scorer, posting 57 points in 76 games for the Nashville Predators.  Was skipped only for the 03/04 release.
431 Andreas Salomonsson – Played for Modo Hockey Ornskoldsvik (Sweeden).  No other Upper Deck cards.
432 Josef Boumedienne – Scored 42 points in 52 games for the Hershey Bears of the AHL.  Played parts of 3 seasons in the NHL before leaving to play in Europe, then reappeared stateside last year.  No cards since.
433 Scott Clemmensen – 3 games for the Maple Leafs, 40 games for the Marlies of the AHL.  28 total games over 5 NHL seasons.  Worthy of a card in 05/06.
434 Dan Blackburn – Retired from hockey due to a shoulder injury.  Blackburn was the #10 pick overall in the 2001 draft, and appeared in 63 games over 2 seasons, mostly as a teenager.  Appeared on the 02/03 release as well.
435 Radek Martinek – Still playing defense for the New York Islanders, appearing in 69 games and registering 15 assists.  Has not appeared on another Upper Deck card since.
436 Raffi Torres – Appeared in only 32 games for the Edmonton Oilers, registering 11 points before being sidelined with a knee injury.  Torres was a #5 pick in the 2000 draft.   He’s been in the Upper Deck set since 03/04. 
437 Ivan Ciernik – 66 points in 56 games for the Cologne Sharks (German).  Played 89 games over 3 years for the Capitals before playing in Europe.  No cards. 
438 Jiri Dopita – Played 42 games for Znojemsti Excalibur Orli.  Played well for the Flyers initially, then disappointed after a trade to the Oilers.  Returned to Europe without another Upper Deck appearance.
439 Mark Rycroft – Played 34 games for the Syracuse Crunch (AHL).  Rycroft has stuck around for 226 NHL games over 4 seasons, and appeared in the 05/06 and 06/07 releases.
440 Ryan Tobler – 20 points in 21 games for the Colorado Eagles of the CHL.  Played 4 games with the Lightning and apparently got in a fight, logging 5 PIMs.  No other cards.
441 Chris Corrinet – Retired from hockey.  Chris played in a total of 8 games for the Washington Capitals, picking up an assist and 6 PIMs.  No other cards.

29 more Young Guns, for a total of 144.  The totals so far:

  • 13 more still skating in the NHL, for a total of 48
  • 3 of these guys are out of hockey, for a total of 24
  • 15 guys have yet to appear in another set, bringing the total to 88
  • And I’ll say 6 of these guys should qualify as Young Guns, giving us 20 total

Actually a good showing from this crop.  Is it a sign that Upper Deck actually became more selective with this group?  We’ll soon find out.




2 responses

17 05 2008
Eli Resnick

Thanks for doing this. I used to always take hockey card evaluations of players as gospel. Many times I’ve been surprised when I hear a player isn’t living up to his billing as the next big thing. It’s great to see that maybe the hockey cards are made by people, and by people who can’t see the future, at that.

17 05 2008

I smell sarcasm. And it hurts.

Of course Upper Deck won’t get it right all the time. No one does.

But as a hockey card collector, it’s frustrating that there are more than 70 cards short printed every year for the when some of the players only qualifications are that they played a game the year prior. Does a guy who played 8 games and managed a point really deserve a short printed rookie card? How about the guy who never stepped on NHL ice? Is that who kids want to pull from a 2 dollar pack?

Am I suprised to learn that Upper Deck has found a way to make money off hockey cards? No. Does it dishearten me a little bit with respect to the hobby? Sure. And looking over some of these guys shows that, with a little refinement, Upper Deck could probably parse the shortprints and make a much better.

But thanks for the comment anyway.

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