Upper Deck Releases NHL® First Peoples Rookie Cards

The limited-edition cards honor and celebrate Indigenous hockey players who never had a licensed trading card

CARLSBAD, CA (January 13, 2023)Upper Deck, the worldwide leader in sports and entertainment collectibles, today released new Upper Deck NHL® First Peoples Rookie Cards to celebrate Canadian Indigenous hockey players who never before had a licensed NHL trading card. Upper Deck worked closely with the players and their families, as well as the Indigenous community, to bring these cards to life and make this set as authentic as possible.

To ensure these cards get in the hands of fans who will truly appreciate these collectors items, Upper Deck implemented a thoughtful distribution strategy. This approach includes distributing the packs at Indigenous hockey camps, 3 Nolan Hockey Camp and Hockey Indigenous Development Camp, as well as at the Indigenous-owned Certified Diamond Dealer hobby shop, First Row Collectibles. The packs will also be distributed at games where Indigenous NHL Alumni teams play in different Indigenous communities in St. Paul, Alberta and Tallcree First Nation, Alberta on January 13 and January 15. Additionally, fans will receive packs at the Mushkegowuk Cup on February 17-19, an annual minor hockey tournament that brings together First Nations teams and fans, as well as the Little Native Hockey League Tournament on March 13-18.

“It was paramount for us to do this right and involve the Indigenous community from the inception of the idea through distribution,” said Upper Deck President Jason Masherah. “We’re thrilled to give these iconic Indigenous players the recognition they deserve and get the cards in the hands of excited community members.”

The First Peoples Rookie Card set was designed by an Indigenous artist from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Jacob Alexis, and the card backs were written by Indigenous card collector Naim Cardinal, who is a Cree and member of Tallcree First Nation. Upper Deck also worked with a board of mostly Indigenous community members for guidance to properly celebrate these communities.

“I’m honored to work with Upper Deck to help shine a spotlight on Indigenous hockey legends and be a part of bringing these cards to life,” said Cardinal. “These former players have earned their names and images on official trading cards, and it’s great to see both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people honor them as athletes in a real way.”

The pack of eight cards features Dan Frawley from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Johnny Harms from the Chicago Blackhawks, Danny Hodgson from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Victor Mercredi from the Atlanta Flames, Rocky Trottier from the New Jersey Devils, William LeCaine from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ted Nolan from the Detroit Red Wings, and Jason Simon from the Phoenix Coyotes. There will be signing events with Frawley in Belleville, Ontario and Hodgson in Fort McMurray, Alberta on January 21st to further engage fans.

Fans can learn more NHL® First People’s Rookie cards and upcoming distribution locations on

About Upper Deck

Upper Deck is a global entertainment company creating trading cards, memorabilia, collectibles, games and online platforms that deliver the experiences collectors crave. Upper Deck has set the unmatched industry standard for quality, authenticity, and innovation and continues to bring generations of fans closer to their favorites with unique and authenticated sports and entertainment product offerings, as well as digital marketplaces like ePack and Collect Forever. The company’s team of collectors pride themselves on creating collectibles that produce invaluable experiences for sports and entertainment’s most dedicated and loyal fans, with a goal to deliver excellence to the community across the most coveted properties as a means to develop memorable moments for collectors of all kinds.

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