UD introduces NHL stars to card industry

As the NHL prepares itself for regular-season, opening-night action this Thursday, Oct. 1,  the Upper Deck Company is proud to unveil the first of several NHL Rookies-themed videos that the exclusive manufacturer of  NHL trading cards captured during last month’s inaugural NHL Rookie Debut Photo Shoot at the Hershey Centre in Toronto.
On August 26, a total of 14 up-and-coming NHL prospects descended upon the celebrated hockey arena in Mississauga, Ontario, to make their on-ice, in-uniform debuts as hockey professionals. The event marked Upper Deck’s first opportunity to capture the young guns sporting their new pro uniforms. Top-tiered talent was in attendance including 2009 NHL Entry Draft No. 1 overall pick John Tavares (New York Islanders); Swedish Elite League Rookie of the Year and No. 2 overall pick Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay); and slick, stick-handling No. 3 overall pick Matt Duchene (Colorado).
A total of four “stations” were set up by the creative forces at Upper Deck to chronicle the NHL’s newest crop of freshmen. The designated locations strategically positioned inside the Hershey Centre included on-ice action; portraits; memorabilia signings; and a video station where each of the players received their “rookie boot camp” initiation on everything from how to properly sign hockey trading cards and treat a team’s mascot, to the correct way to lace up skates and tape their own hockey sticks.
Station No. 2 – the video station – was easily the most-watched spot throughout the day. Media members and NHL Players Association personnel alike enjoyed the action as the NHL’s up-and-comers all proved to be good sports in receiving critical direction from boisterous “Coach Ron Cherry,” a fictitious character invented by Upper Deck’s marketing team.
Click here to see the first of many “NHL Rookie Boot Camp” videos that Upper Deck will be introducing as the 2009-10 NHL season gets underway. The opening segment shows six of the players – the aforementioned three plus Jared Cowen, Jonas Gustavsson and Cody Hodgson – getting put through the paces by Coach Cherry when it comes to signing autograph cards for the fans. Since none of the rookies featured has skated in an official NHL game yet, the cards used during filming were merely prop cards and not their own.
Upper Deck intends to post a new video segment every week for the next two months. Look for cards of many of the rookies first appearing in 2009-10 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey in November as well as subsequent brands including MVP, Black Diamond and Trilogy.

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