By Russ Cohen
LOS ANGELES – When it was all said and done, I – along with many others – had correctly predicted that Taylor Hall would be the first overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft over the weekend.
The speedy forward was legitimately excited when his name was called his name and that’s part of what makes him so special. He had to know this was coming.
“I was so shocked,” Hall said. “I was shaking in my seat.”
While the excitement of the draft was taking place, Upper Deck was headlining a scaled-down NHL Draft collectibles show. There were a handful of top-notch vendors along with the card manufacturer.
Regarding the redemption card sets, Upper Deck produced two different six-card packs available during the course of the Draft while supplies lasted. Collectors had to rip open three packs of any 2009-10 Upper Deck NHL product (excluding Victory or Collector’s Choice brands) at the Upper Deck booth; in exchange, they got their choice of either six-card set.
The first pack featured three current members of the Los Angeles Kings (Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar), along with three current NHL superstars (Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and John Tavares). The second pack included three former Kings standouts (Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille and a mystery player) alongside three fellow retired hockey greats (Steve Yzerman, Patrick Roy and Mario Lemieux).
Once again, fans were posing for personal trading cards at the P-Card station and kids were taking some slap shots at the interactive display as well.
On day two of the event, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown was signing oversized cards to a nice line of eager collectors. Brown is a great guy who made a splash in 2003 as the 13th overall pick. A few years later he’s a mainstay in the league and he was an alternate captain for the U.S. Olympic squad in Vancouver.
L.A. fans do collect and by the time round five hit, all of the “draft swag” was sold out, an indication that the hockey collectibles universe in California is alive and well.