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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Box Break - - 2008-09 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hobby

In the Game is a mainstay in my collection because of the quality of their products.  Somehow, I missed the entire 2008-09 year for their products.  I think the biggest reason was that my LCS didn't have their stuff on the shelf that year and I was still a bit reluctant to purchase online for a number of reasons that I won't get into here.  I did have a few singles that I picked up along the way but no boxes under my belt.

The Sun-Times show last weekend changed that when I found hobby boxes at the D&A Card World booth for under $30.  That price was awesome for an ITG release considering their history of a quality design, more than generous hits per box, and a jam packed lineup of, well...Heroes & Prospects.

Go here and check out the sell sheet for details and some nice screen-shots since I'm only going to post the "hits".

The box breakdown is 5 cards/pack, 24 packs/box.  Since the base set is only 100 cards, it should be easy to complete with only one box.  Game-Used Memorabilia fall about 1:20 packs, with Autos coming 1:16.  There are three different non-memorabilia insert sets including 2008 Draft Picks, a Calder Cup winner set featuring the Chicago Wolves, and the Memorial Cup winner set featuring the Spokane Chiefs.

The set that I was excited about pulling was the "How Swede It Is" set which features all Swedish players (duh).  There are six of these in all, featuring Victor Hedman, Peter Forsberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Bjorn Salming, and Mats Sundin.  The cards look great and there are multiple versions including silver #/9, and the gold emblems #1/1.  I know it's a long shot but I hope there is one in here.

It would also be really cool to pull one of the Hero/Prospect GU combo card where a rookie/future star is paired up with a current NHL star. 

Here is what came out of my box.

Kyle DeCoste Game Used Jersey, 2 color.  Here was my memorabilia hit of Mr. DeCoste.  DeCoste came out of the 5th round of the 2008 Draft for the Tampa Bay Lightning.  He is currently on the London Knights after being moved from Belleville.  I don't know a whole lot about him other than he has yet to skate in an NHL game, as far as I know.

Boris Valabik 2008 Calder Cup Winner.  The Bruins picked him up from the Thrashers at the trade deadline but not for the reason you are thinking.  He was the "other" guy in the Rich Peverley trade.  He isn't a goal scorer;  he has none in 80 games.  But he is huge.  6'7", 255 lbs of fighting madness.  He met the Burins once back in 2008, picked a fight with Phil Kessel and was pounded by the only guy on the ice that could match his size...Chara.  Fun was had by all.

Jordan Eberle 2008 Draft Picks.  We all know about Eberle's talents.  He is actually now the leading scorer on the Oilers (because of all the injuries) I believe.  Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, and Taylor Hall are all out of the lineup.  And Dustin Penner, was traded away.  So by default, Jordan wins.  Oh, yeah, and he is a good hockey player.

Fabian Brunnstrom Autograph.  Brunnstrom had a lot of potential but just couldn't break through on Dallas.  He was traded to Toronto earlier this year.  This card isn't numbered but according to Beckett Online, it is a short-print.  Whatever that means. 

Thomas Hickey Autograph.  I'm not sure if this guy is still on Manchester but Hickey is a small size defenseman that was one of the most skilled skaters in the WHL.  The fact that he is so young makes for a bright future for TH as long as he can stay healthy and increase his durability.  His size may be a deterrent to getting him to the NHL level but he could be a mainstay in the AHL. 

So what did we learn?  2008 H&P is not as jam packed with inserts or memorabilia like many of the subsequent releases thereafter.  The design is very good, clean, and appealing.  The autos are very nice, especially with the chance of getting a plethora of young NHL star autos.  The GU cards, once again, feature huge swatches by comparison to other brands and are very well put together.  My box, while not the best, was very fun to open.  I ended up with a full base set and a few doubles.  Plus, I think I have a taker for this Brunnstrom auto already that is willing to give up a "king's ransom" to get it.  Only a slight exaggeration but it should be a trade heavily in my favor.


  1. Would you trade me that Chicago Wolves card? I'm partial to the Wolves (for obvious reasons) and want to build that insert set.

  2. FYI...I just picked up a box of this on eBay for a decent price simply because of your review.

  3. Really? Man, you're gullible. Just kidding. That's interesting to know that anything I said influenced someone's decision. Interesting...and scary.


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