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Top Young Guns to Chase in 2023/24 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey

Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey delivers the much-anticipated Connor Bedard Young Guns rookie.

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It’s been a number of years since a hockey product has generated this much excitement, but it’s impossible to ignore the hype around the release of 2023/24 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey and its highly-anticipated Connor Bedard rookie cards.

The key chases go beyond Bedard, however, with hockey enthusiasts excited for this group of rookies collectively. With a strong overall class, SI Collects has highlighted some of the top players getting their trademark “Young Guns” rookie cards in Series 2 Hockey.

It should be noted that some top players like Brock Faber and Luke Hughes received their key Young Guns cards in Series 1 and will only have Young Guns Canvas inserts in this set — they won’t be included in this list.

There are also rookies that didn’t meet the call-up deadline, so they will likely be represented in the Extended Series set.

Connor Bedard (C) - Chicago Blackhawks

There isn’t much that can be said about 18-year-old Bedard that hasn’t been already. Despite missing six weeks after sustaining a broken jaw, he looks every part the superstar many projected him to be.

He’s expected to win the Calder Trophy (NHL Rookie of the Year) and is likely the cornerstone piece for the Blackhawks for many years to come. His card prices will follow, with his Young Guns cards and associated parallels the biggest chase in Upper Deck Series 2.

Connor Zary (C) - Calgary Flames

While he hasn’t played as much as his peers have, Zary has impressed many since being called up to play for Calgary. Though he has mostly been deployed on the wing, the Flames are hoping the 22-year-old is the long-term solution for the franchise at center.

His minutes have gradually risen as the season has gone on, and despite sharing a first name with the top rookie in the set, Zary is carving out his own future on the ice.

Leo Carlsson (C) - Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim is in the process of rebuilding and are hopeful that Swedish native Carlsson can be a key part of the future. His time has been managed, meaning he hasn’t played nearly as much as the other rookies on this list.

But given this is his first experience playing hockey in the USA, he has adjusted exceptionally well while becoming the youngest player in franchise history to score a hat-trick of goals. Carlsson should certainly be a player that collectors will be on the lookout for in Upper Deck Series 2.

Matthew Poitras (C) - Boston Bruins

Poitras was definitely a surprise coming into this season while making the Bruins roster as just a 19-year-old — he was a key part of the team in the early stages of the season too.

Sadly, his season was shut down at the start of February as he underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. After helping fill the gap left by the retirement of Patrice Bergeron, Poitras should return in time for training camp ahead of next season.

Zach Benson (LW) - Buffalo Sabres

While his production has been inconsistent, Benson is highly touted by many, given his veteran-like approach to the game at only 18.

His coaches believe that the scoring will come with time, and he definitely has a chance to be a key player for Buffalo in the long-term — he’s a sleeper opportunity to target before his cards potentially take off in price.

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