By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor
Prospects from the American Hockey League rarely get much hobby love during their time in the minors, despite the fact that some of them are just a step away from making an impact at the NHL level.
In fact, 87 percent of current NHL players have made an appearance at the AHL level and the league itself has been around for 78 seasons.
While the league was represented on cardboard through the Heroes & Prospects brand from In The Game for many years, trading card licensing from the Professional Hockey Players’ Association went into a virtual state of limbo before the 2012-13 season began. Luckily for AHL fans, there will be a mainstream release from Upper Deck hitting store shelves in a just a few weeks.
Each box will contain a complete 100-card set along with five autographed cards. Several of the prospects have appeared in NHL products already and collectors will be familiar with names like Martin Jones, Tomas Jurco and Jake Allen. Also making an appearance is promising young prospect and former second round pick Ty Rattie of the Chicago Wolves, who is a part of the St. Louis Blues organization.
Expected to be released on July 29, the 2013-14 Upper Deck AHL Hockey Boxed Set is sure to give prospectors something to get excited about before next season’s NHL products start hitting the market.
Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Hockey and Beckett Basketball magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at SLaroche@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.