The ultimate guide to collecting, trading, selling, and storing hockey cards.

Why Collect?

Collecting items has been a pastime and hobby for many people, even as far back as Ancient Egyptian times!

When it comes to collecting hockey cards, hockey cards first started appearing in cigarette packs in the early 1900s and grew over the decades to what it is now. Initially, several companies had the license to develop NHL cards, but today just Upper Deck is licensed to design and develop NHL hockey cards.

Whether you are collecting with your children or collecting on your own, there is always the thrill of opening a big card, your favourite player, or a card that you can check off your wantlist. The sports card industry has flourished over the years into what it is now, and the sets and products that are out now make the industry very exciting.

Did You Know?

The standard size of hockey cards (and most trading cards) is 2.5 by 3.5 inches (6.35 cm by 8.89 cm).

Unique card sizes include tobacco cards and tallboys.

Common Questions

  • Hobby products are made for hobby shops and include everything that the company states in the checklist available to hit.
  • Retail products are available for hobby shops and big-box stores and don’t include everything produced in the product as stated in the checklist. Sometimes specific insert sets are made specifically for that retail product.
  • An example would be Series 1 Hobby vs Series 1 Retail – Hobby includes everything they make for the product but Retail does not include things like exclusive cards, high gloss cards, patch cards, Easter egg subsets, and more.

Cards come in various sizes so sometimes it’s hard to know the exact size of toploader that you need. One way is to use a measuring guide: View the Thickness Gauge here!

A true rookie card is essentially part of the base set. This means it has the same type of card numbering as the base set does, like Young Guns for Series 1 and 2. There are other rookie cards that are true rookie cards even though they are not part of the base set like Premier Rookie Patch Autos. The reason for that is because set collectors include those as a true rookie.

The value of a hockey card and/or collection is based on several factors, including (but not limited to):

  • a player’s/team’s popularity
  • the rarity of the card(s)
  • the brand(s)
  • the condition of the card(s)
  • features like autographs and patches
  • whether the card has been graded and what the grading is (see below: Grading)
  • the demand from other collectors

Today, the most valuable cards are typically tied to an athlete’s rookie year, or have autographs or jersey swatches embedded in the cards.

One way to find out the value of your card(s) is to search on eBay to see what similar ones have sold for.

Getting Started

Hockey cards spread out on a table

There are many different ways to collect hockey cards, but a good way to start is to focus on your favourite players or teams. It’s also always more fun to collect with friends or family, so you can trade and collect amongst yourselves.

If you’re looking for certain players and/or teams, taking a look at a set’s checklist can help narrow down your search.

View Checklists

A couple questions to ask yourself when collecting hockey cards:

What are you hoping to get out of collecting?

Do you want to dedicate your collection to a specific player or team? Are you looking to make an investment out of your cards? Do you want to connect with other sports fans? Are you just curious to see where it takes you?

What is your budget?

From $1 packs to cards worth in the 10s of thousands, collecting hockey cards can accommodate a range of price points. Setting aside funds for hockey card collecting and sticking to a budget can help keep you on track financially and collecting wise.

Collecting Rookies

Many collectors aim to collect cards from a player’s rookie year. These cards are the most sought after and can increase in value years later.

There is no specific year you should start at, but some good rookie years are:

  • 2015-16 (McDavid, Eichel)
  • 2016-17 (Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Laine)

Sealed products are harder to find, but you can find singles at your local shop, in online Facebook trading groups, or trade shows.

Take a look at our Rookie Guide for a list of all NHL rookies by game year!

View Guide!

Hockey Sets

2017-18 Upper Deck Ice Box and Pack

Hockey cards are organized into editions or ‘sets’. Many sets have a yearly release, while others are limited edition or have a limited run. 

A pack of cards can range anywhere from $1 – $5000+, where generally the higher the price, the more content and inserts there will be, such as rookie cards, autographed cards, jersey cards, and other special cards.

A great set to start with is the Upper Deck Series 1 and Series 2. Series 1 comes out in November and includes the first rookie cards for some players that debuted that year. Series 2 comes out in February and includes the remaining rookies that debuted that year.

Those sets are one of the most collected every year, with many collectors building the complete set. Another set that is popular is SP Authentic as it has hard signed autographs for rookies. It’s a very popular set due to the collectors making sets of the Future Watch rookie cards.

For a list of popular sets for both newcomers and seasoned collectors, click here to see Popular Hockey Sets


Many sets offer different configurations to accommodate a variety of budgets and collectors. The main types of set configurations are packs, boxes/tins, and cases. The number of cards in each configuration varies with each set.

2018-19 Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey Hobby Pack


Packs contain a certain number of cards which varies by set. Packs are an affordable way to supplement your collection or for when you get that itch to open cards.

Browse Hockey Packs
2016-17 Upper Deck Team Canada World Juniors Hockey Hobby Box

Boxes & Tins

A pre-determined number of packs are sealed together in a box or a tin. Most sets feature boxes, but some feature metal tins (such as The Cup) instead of boxes. The tins themselves are sometimes sought by collectors.

Both casual and serious collectors will find a box or tin a great way to add or build their collection.

Browse Hockey Boxes Browse Hockey Tins
22-23 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey Case - 16 hobby boxes per case


A case contains a pre-determined number of boxes, which are then sealed together. For the serious collectors, cases can be a great way to complete a set and then some.

Browse Hockey Cases

Keeping Your Cards in Good Condition

Once you’ve started your collection, you’ll want to make sure you take good care of your cards. Cards should also be protected from extreme temperatures, moisture, rough handling, and direct UV light to ensure they last for years to come.

Stick with reputable and well-known brands such as Ultra Pro, BCW, Beckett, and KMC. These supplies are acid-free and ensure the longevity of your collection.

There are many different techniques and supplies used to store and display cards. Experiment with different solutions to find the best way that works for you and your collection!

Important to Note – Card Thickness

Depending on the type of card(s) you have, you may need thicker protection. Cards with autographs, signatures, patches, and other features need a higher point (pt) toploader, sleeve etc.

Not sure what size you have? View the thickness gauge here!

Browse All Supplies & Storage

Ways to Store Cards

Ultra Pro Soft Card Sleeves 100 Count Pack

Soft Sleeves

Recommended for: Your favourite cards (up to 130pt), base cards

Browse Soft Sleeves

For basic protection, soft sleeves are a staple in a collector’s inventory. Ultra Pro Soft Card Sleeves and Beckett Shield Soft Sleeves are great for no frills, everyday use and storage.

For those looking for a close fit (especially for toploaders), use Ultra Pro Premium Card Sleeves or KMC Perfect Fit Soft Sleeves.

For thicker cards up to 130pt, use Ultra Pro Card Sleeves for Thick Cards.

How to Store

From the top, open the pocket and slide your cards into the sleeve. Sleeves designed for a close fit may take a bit of patience to wiggle in.

Ultra Pro 3-Ring 3 inch Black Hockey Collector Binder

Binders & Pocket Pages

Recommended for: Your favourite cards (<80pt), base cards

Browse Binders & Pages

Binders and binder pages are a great way to both store and present your collection. A binder makes it easy to grab and go to trade show or event and show off your cards.

You will need:

How to Store

  1. Sort and layout your cards. Many collectors will organize by set (eg. Series 1, Artifacts), but you can also organize by player, team, division, game year etc. There is no right or wrong way to arrange your collection, just the way that works best for you.
  2. Slot into pockets. Once you’ve arranged your collection, slot each card into the individual pockets. Most pocket pages open from the top, though some specialty pocket pages can be side-loading.
    1. Optional: Before slotting into pockets, put your cards in a close-fitting card sleeve for extra protection. We recommend Ultra Pro Premium Card Sleeves or KMC Perfect Fit for a snug and secure card.
  3. Repeat for each pocket page until all your cards are secured. Put your pocket pages in your binder ring and snap close. Now you can easily take your binder with you and show off your collection!

BCW 1600 count Cardboard Storage Box

Storage Boxes

Recommended for: Base cards

Browse Storage Boxes

Specially-made cardboard and plastic boxes are an affordable and easy way to store a large quantity of cards.

These boxes come in sizes called ‘counts’ (cts), which indicates the number cards with a standard thickness (35pt) that can be stored. Most cards with a thicker point can still be put in a storage box, but not as many.

Boxes are available in the following sizes:

  • 10 ct
  • 25 ct
  • 50 ct
  • 100 ct
  • 150 ct
  • 200 ct
  • 250 ct
  • 300 ct
  • 330 ct
  • 550 ct
  • 660 ct
  • 800 ct
  • 930 ct
  • 1,600 ct
  • 3,200 ct
  • 5,000 ct

How to Store

Simply insert your cards into your storage box. For extra organization, use card dividers to label and/or section your cards.

Storage boxes work best when the cards fit snugly together so they won’t move around.

Ultra Pro Regular Toploaders - Pack of 25

Card Holders

Recommended for: Your favourite cards, high-value cards

Browse Card Holders

For those special cards in your collection, using a card holder is a great way to store and/or show them off!

You will need 1 (or more) of the following:

Left to Right: Toploader, One Touch, Single-Screw Screwdown, Lucite Screwdown

What’s the Difference?

Toploaders are thick, flexible sleeves, while One Touches and Screwdown holders are a hard case. One Touches and Screwdown holders offer more protection compared to Toploaders, but are bigger, thicker, and heavier and may be more cumbersome to store.

We recommend using Toploaders for general card protection, and One Touches and Screwdown holders for presenting cards and storing high-value cards.

How to Use

For Toploaders

Gently insert cards into toploaders. For lower point cards, consider sleeving first with a close-fitting card sleeve for extra protection. Use a card holder to display card if desired.

A One Touch magnetic case

For One Touches

On magnet side (top), gently pull apart. Most toploaders will have a detachable bottom hinge. Insert your card, then close. Use a card holder to display card if desired.

For Screwdown Holders

Using a screwdriver, unscrew the case and gently pull apart. Insert your card. Close case and line up screw hole(s). Screw back together. Use a card holder to display card if desired.

Ultra Pro Beckett/MNT Graded Card Stand - 10 Pack

Storing Graded Cards

Browse Graded Card Supplies

Special sleeves and holders are available to hold graded cards or ‘slabs’. Some of the options for storage and presentation include:

More Ways to Store & Display Cards

There are many different storage and display solutions around today for sports cards. Some specialty products include:

You can even get creative and invent your own. A collage of base cards? A shadow box of your favourite player or team? A custom raised hockey card? The possibilities are endless.

Insurance & Safes

Large or expensive collections should be insured under your home insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider to find out the steps you have to take to insure your collection. You may also consider a fireproof and waterproof safe for your collection if you feel you need it.

Card Value & Grading

2 rows of graded hockey cards

The value of a hockey card is based on several factors, including (but not limited to):

  • a player’s/team’s popularity
  • the rarity of the card
  • the brand
  • the condition of the card
  • features like autographs and patches
  • whether the card has been graded and what the grading is (see below: Grading)
  • the demand from other collectors

Today, the most valuable cards are typically tied to an athlete’s rookie year, or have autographs or jersey swatches embedded in the cards.

One way to find out the value of your card(s) is to search on eBay to see what similar ones have sold for.


MNT Grading

Getting your card graded can increase its value and make it easier when selling and trading. It also makes it easier as a buyer to know the condition of the card you want to purchase.

A specially trained grader will examine your card. A grader looks at a card’s corners, edges, surface, centering, and overall condition to assign a final grade. Many graders use a numbered point and subpoint system to determine the final grade.

Graders are also trained to spot fake, counterfeit, and altered cards. As well, each card that goes through a grader is entered into their database and can be cross-referenced for authenticity.

CloutsnChara uses MNT Grading

About MNT Grading

Buying, Selling, & Trading

When buying, selling, or trading your cards, doing just a little homework beforehand can help make the process easier.

Search online on sites like eBay to see what your cards are worth before you start to offer them for trade or sale. Keep in mind a card’s condition, a player’s/team’s popularity, and features like autographs or patches will play a role in the pricing of a card.

If you are trading, know what you are looking for in return or have an idea for the type of cards you want in return. If you are selling, figure out a price (based on previous sales if possible) that you are comfortable and happy to sell at.

Get Connected!

Events like meet-ups and trade shows are a great way to meet like-minded sports and trading card enthusiasts.

Whether you meet up to buy, sell, and trade your cards, to show off your collection, or catch up with old friends, collecting is more fun when you share it with others!

Sport Card & Memorabilia Expo

Trade Shows

There are several trade shows throughout North America including the Sports Cards Expo which happens in Toronto, ON and in Edmonton, AB

Sport Card Expo Toronto Sport Card Expo Edmonton
CloutsnChara Trading Group

Facebook Trading Group

We have a trading group through Facebook that you can join and talk to fellow collectors from around the world. You can buy, sell and trade through the group or just talk about hockey in general. We can be contacted by email in regard to input on a trade but it is up to both parties to get feedback from other collectors in regard to both parties positive feedback in the industry.

Join our Trading Group!

Popular Hockey Sets

2020-21 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey Hobby Box

Series 1

Series 1 offers an affordable price point and is popular across all levels of collectors. The coveted ‘Young Guns’ rookies cards can be found in this set and are highly sought after. You may even find popular autograph cards and game-used patch cards.

Browse Series 1
2022-23 Upper Deck MVP Hockey Hobby Box


The first set of the new collecting year offers plenty of inserts, parallels, and short prints. This product is geared towards set collectors and collectors on a budget.

Browse MVP
2021-22 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey Hobby Box


This classic-style set is the largest on the market and offers a low price. It is also a great product for anyone who is just starting out. If you are interested in building sets that have a classic retro design with a chance to pull big autographs or unique team patches, this is the set for you.

Browse OPC
2020-21 Artifacts Hockey Hobby Box


For seasoned collectors, Artifacts is a household name. This set serves as an excellent mid-range product for puck fans, especially those who love premium memorabilia cards. Artifacts offers a good value for collectors that are looking for quality rookies, dazzling memorabilia and early season autograph cards.

Browse Artifacts
2021-22 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey Hobby Box

Series 2

Series 2 picks up where Series 1 left off, with a fresh collection of 200 base cards and even more Young Guns. This set also includes popular ‘UD Canvas’ and other great insert cards.

Browse Series 2
2021-22 Upper Deck SPx Hockey Hobby Box


SPx offers plenty of autographs, jersey cards and rookie autograph jersey cards. There are various inserts that are exciting to collect, but the set’s autograph jersey cards are real showstoppers. This set is great for technology fans, memorabilia collectors, rookie collectors, and autograph fans.

Browse SPx
2020-21 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey Hobby Box

SP Authentic

A coveted set, SP Authentic includes the sought after ‘Future Watch’ autographed rookie cards. ‘Sign of the Times’ cards feature multi-signed cards, which are a thrill to pull. If you love rookies and autograph cards, consider this set.

Browse SP Authentic
2020-21 Upper Deck SP Game Used Hockey Hobby Box

SP Game Used

One of the most unique products to come out each year. Find memorabilia from All-Star games, outdoor games, NHL draft, and more! Some of the most unique cards produced with a high-end punch.

Browse SP Game Used

Collecting Terms


A numbered card that is the only one in existence. These can be the most valuable cards, but not necessarily the most expensive.[UD]


A hypoallergenic, plant-based plastic commonly used in the trading card industry to seal, hold, and/or store cards.

Acetate Card

A special type of card printed on translucent stock, similar to plexiglass.[UD]


Having a company go through your collection of items and giving an estimate value of your collection.


Abbreviation for ‘autographed rookie patch’.

Artificial Scarcity

Artificial scarcity is when an item’s scarcity is dramatically increased due to a select few buyers purchasing large quantities of the item, thus preventing other buyers from purchasing the product. This is often done by ‘scalpers/flippers’ as a way to increase the item’s value.

Artist Proof

A type of parallel card. They were originally produced by Pinnacle Brands Inc. in 1994 and continued with other companies like Upper Deck

Auction House

A company that auctions off items and is the main business for them.

Authorized Retailer

A retail hobby store that has been recognized by a trading card company for adhering to their set quality, sales, and other standards. Criteria between trading card companies varies.

CloutsnChara is an Upper Deck Authorized Retailer.

Auto / AU

Abbreviation for ‘autograph’.


The signature of a player.

Autograph(ed) Card

A card that has been signed by a particular player.


A card that looks like it’s autographed but the autograph has been printed on the card

Base Card

A common card that is part of a product’s main set. These cards are usually numbered 1-XXX in accordance with the number of subjects in a set.[UD]

Blaster Box

A retail product made for different products like Series 1 and Series 2. Normally has around 10 -12 packs.

Book Price / Value

The perceived value of an item according to a price guide published by a third party company.[UD]

Booklet Card

A 2+ panel card that opens up like a book, and can feature multiple players and/or signatures.[UD]


A pre-determined number of packs, packaged together in a sealed container. A box will be sealed by the manufacturer, and will contain advertised content. There can be anywhere from 1-36 packs in a box on average. Be sure to check packaging before purchase to know exactly what you are getting.[UD]

Break, Box Break

A collector opening a box of cards. Breaks are often recorded for the enjoyment of others.

For a box break involving multiple people, see ‘Group Breaks.’

Buy Price

A price you are willing to pay for something you are looking for

C&C / CnC / C+C

Abbreviation for ‘CloutsnChara’.

Card Stock

Thickness of the trading card


A pre-determined number of boxes packaged together in a sealed container. Can contain anywhere from 1-18 boxes on average.[UD]


It is the percentage of the border on each side (e.g left side vs. right side). For example a 60/40 card could be 60% of the border on the top and 40% of the border on the bottom


A complete list of cards contained in a particular set. Collectors use checklists to help keep track of and complete sets.[UD]


The edge of the card has minor damage

Collating / Collation

How trading card companies insert/distribute the cards into the product during the packing process.


The quality of a card based on if there are any creases, marks, stains, notches, white edges etc. The better the condition of a card, the more value it has.


A fake card or item that is intentionally created and designed to look like the real, licensed item its based off. Counterfeit cards and items are usually made to trick unsuspecting buyers into thinking they’re buying the real item.

Cut Autograph / Cut

A card featuring an autograph that is not signed directly onto the card, but is instead cut from another source (such as a check). Most cut autograph cards feature subjects who are deceased.[UD]


Trading card store or individual that sets up at a trade show.

Certified Diamond Dealer

Stores that are authorized by Upper Deck to sell their products.


Part of a trading card cut out to make it a different shape.


The corner of a trading card has damage to it and is bent.


A company that wholesales to trading card stores across the country.

DNA Card

A card featuring an embedded biological link to the subject on the front. Most of the time, these cards have hair or similar pieces from important historical spots figures, politicians, or celebrities.[UD]

Ebay / ‘The Bay’’s card auctions.[UD]

Error Card

A error or misprint card is a card with severe, noticeable mistake that occurred during its manufacturing. Some errors include name and spelling mistakes, misaligned foil areas, wrong team and stats, two cards cut together, and missing backs.

Misprints were more common in the 90s as hockey card manufacturers rushed to compete with each other and the technology was evolving. Today, misprints are fairly uncommon, but still do happen.

The value of error cards varies, as some collectors consider it devalued due to the mistakes. Others collect misprints as a novelty.

Event Used

A jersey used by a player in a special event, and was not worn in a game.

Exclusive Spokesperson

Refers to athletes whose autographs, jerseys, and memorabilia will not be available in other brands. Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods.[UD]

Factory Sealed

Trading card box that still has the original wrapping from the manufacturer.

Factory Set

The complete base set of a specific product and boxed in its own box.


Trading card company that produced trading cards back in the 80’s and 90’s.


See ‘scalper’.


Acronym for Future Watch Autograph from Upper Deck SP Authentic


An embedded jersey (or other item) that was used during a game. Typically embedded into a card.

Game-Used Jersey Card

A card containing a piece of embedded jersey worn by a player during a game.[UD]


Abbreviation for ‘Global Authentication Inc’.


The number given to a trading card by a Grading company for the condition of the card. Grade will be between 1 – 10.


A company that specializes in checking the condition of a trading card and giving it a grade between 1 – 10.


The process of giving a trading card a number for it’s condition.

Graded (Card)

A card that has been appraised by a third-party company and given a numerical value based on its condition. The card is then sealed in plastic with the corresponding number related to its condition.

Grading Card Scale

A numerical scale (typically 1-10) developed by a grading company that corresponds with its condition. Terms vary depending on the company. Common terms include: pristine, gem mint.

Grading Company

A company that specialises in appraising and grading trading card, that is not associated with a trading card manufacturer or company.

CloutsnChara uses MNT Grading.

Group Break

When a group of people split the cost of a box and divide the cards, determined by criteria set before the break. Breaks can take place online or in person, though online is more common.

CloutsnChara is the leader in Group Breaks. For more information on our breaks and the different types, click here.


Abbreviation for ‘Game-Used’ (see above).


An autograph signed directly onto the card’s surface.[UD]


Special, non-base cards that are part of limited subsets.[UD]

Most boxes you can buy have stated number of jersey or autograph cards per unit you can buy. The cards like this are called ‘hits’ because they are considered to be the best in the box. So if you hear someone referring to the ‘hits of the box’, it means they are talking about the rarest seeded cards one can pull in each pack or box.[UD]

Hobby Box / Products

Products created exclusively for hobby stores that contain more content, packs, and inserts than products at retail stores.[UD]


Abbreviation for ‘Hall of Fame’.

Hot Box

A trading card box containing only hit cards and/or special content.


These are usually cards that come at a higher odds ratio. Instead of being part of the normal base set, however, they are part of a ‘subset’, or set within the set. They look different than the common cards, and usually have different names.[UD]

Jersey Card

A card that contains a piece of an embedded jersey.[UD]

Label Autographed Card

See ‘Sticker Autographed Card.’

Letter of Authenticity

A letter stating an item is autographed/game used by the player and not a fake.

Letterman Card

A card featuring a cut letter patch from a player’s jersey.[UD]

Licensed Cards

Trading cards must be licensed by the league and player’s association. Upper Deck hockey brands are the only hockey cards officially licensed by the NHL and the NHL Player’s Association.[UD]

Limited Edition

An item limited to a specific number.

Logo Patch

A card featuring a team or league logo patch from a jersey. These are usually the most valuable of the 1-of-1’s that exist.[UD]


Term for a card that features an entire league logo patch.[UD]


A number of trading cards usually offered at a discount.

Manufactured Patch

A piece embedded into a card replicating the particular player’s jersey.

Market Value

What the card is going for currently on the market (eBay)


A piece of equipment used during a professional game and inserted into a trading card.


A grading score given by a card grading company. Depending on the company, this can represent a score of 8-10. Usually accompanied by a number in the card’s official grading (eg. Mint 8, Mint 10 etc.).

Mint Condition

An unofficial term for an item or memorabilia that’s considered to be in like-new or new condition. This score is usually set by the seller and not by an official grading company.


See ‘error card’.

MNT Grading

A Canadian based card grading company and the industry’s new premier grading company. CloutsnChara is an official dropoff centre for MNT Grading. To learn more about MNT Grading, please click here.


1. Acronym for ‘Most Valuable Player’

2. A line of hockey cards by Upper Deck

New in Box

‘New in Box.’ A card or cards that are in the original manufactured packaging and have not been opened or tampered with. Can also be used to describe memorabilia, collectables, etc.


Abbreviation for The National Hockey League, the North American professional ice hockey league.


Abbreviation for ‘new in box’ (see above).

Non-Sport (Card)

Trading card that is not a sport, can be a TV show, Movie, etc.


A company that manufactured trading cards for several year in the 1900’s. Upper Deck currently owns the rights to the name.


Abbreviation for ‘Or Best Offer’.


1. Abbreviation for ‘Off-Center’

2. Abbreviation for ‘Original Content’


Abbreviation for Upper Deck’s O-Pee-Chee line of hockey cards.


Other than single cards, the lowest denomination of product you can buy. This contains 1-60 cards depending on the product (look for information on the wrapping).[UD]

Pack Searcher / Searching

A person who goes through all the packs in a retail box in an attempt to find special or hit cards. Pack searchers will often use scales to weigh the packs and find the ones that seem different or out of place (as they likely contain hit cards). Other techniques include using magnets, and/or bending and manipulating the cards (this creates a potential for damage). Some trading card manufacturers, such as Upper Deck, have taken steps to deter pack searchers (such as inserting stiff cardboard or dummy cards). While not illegal, pack searching is considered to be in poor taste in the trading card hobby.


A serial numbered version of another card. Parallels typically have the same design and photo, but offer different higher-end colour schemes with limited numbering.[UD]


Company that manufactured trading cards in the 1900’s. Upper Deck currently owns the rights to the name.

Patch Card

Card that features a cut patch from a player’s jersey. Common patches include jersey numbers, team names, team logos, and league logos.[UD]


Abbreviation for ‘personal collection’ (see below).

Personal Collection (PC)

A collector’s favourite cards: these cards are usually the centrepieces of a collection and are not up for trade or sale.[UD]


The autographed item has the owners name on it written by the signer.


An image that has been digitally altered using Adobe’s Photoshop software or other similar image editing software.

In terms of collecting, it refers to a card being digitally altered from its original state, either to make a card appear genuine, or just for fun.

Player Collector

A collector who focuses on specific players.[UD]

Print Defect

Defect on the card caused during the printing process of the card.

Printing Plate

A plate that was used to print trading cards. These ‘cards’ are considered to be one of a kind, and come in the four printing colours: black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.[UD]


1. The term for getting a card out of its package, box, or case. Usually referred for valuable cards.
2. A valuable card. See also ‘hit’.


Abbreviation for ‘rookie card’ (see below).


Insert cards used as placeholders for cards that were not ready at the time of printing, usually an autograph card. Collectors redeem these cards online. Manufacturers then send the cards out as soon as they become available.[UD]

Retail Box / Products

Products sold in large retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. Typically have fewer cards, packs, and/or inserts than hobby boxes / products.

Rookie Card

A card from a player’s first year in the league. These cards are highly collectable.[UD]


Abbreviation for ‘Rookie Patch Auto’.


A slang term to describe a person who buys high-demand items (usually in bulk), and sells them for a much more inflated price on sites such as eBay. Can be used as a verb as well (eg. scalping). May also be called a ‘flipper.’ Scalping is often frowned upon and considered unethical in many collectables communities as it creates an artificial scarcity.

Sell Value

The value based on recent actual sales of an item, or a perceived value based on how much a person will pay for the card.[UD]

Serial / Crash Numbered

A card that is short printed and stamped with a print run number on the card. For example, 01/25.[UD]


A completed series of numbered regular cards, inserts, or hits from a particular product.[UD]

Set Collector

Someone who builds sets from each product, rather than someone who collects a certain player or team.[UD]

Short Print (SP)

Cards that have a lower print run than other cards in a set, making them more rare and challenging to collect.[UD]


Abbreviation for Upper Deck’s SP Authentic line of hockey cards.


Abbreviation for Upper Deck’s SP Game-Used line of hockey cards.

Sticker / Label Autographed Card

An autographed card featuring a certified signature on a clear label, which is applied to the card’s surface during production.[UD]

Super Collector

Someone who tries to collect every single card produced for a certain team, player, or set.[UD]

Team Collector

A collector who focuses on specific teams.[UD]


Abbreviation for Upper Deck (see below).

Ultra PRO (Company)

An American, California based company specializing in sports and gaming accessories. They are best known for their line of protective sleeves and protectors, and considered the standard in protection and storage in the trading card industry.

Upper Deck (Company)

An American sports card manufacturer, and one of the major brands in North America and worldwide.

Young Gun

Upper Deck’s popular rookie card that comes out in Upper Deck Series 1 and Series 2. It is the first rookie card (Series 1) for the rookies each year.

General Group Break Terms

Note: Breaking policies and styles may vary between different distributors.

For more information on our Group Breaks please click here.

Team Select

Instead of a fixed price for the break, each team will have their own price. (eg. Pitts=$70, Tor =$30 etc.)

Team Random

This type is where every person in the break is randomly assigned a team (CloutsnChara uses Then throughout the break every card pulled of each team will go to the person that they belong to (eg. if you draw Toronto Maple Leafs, all cards opened of them are yours.)

Team Draft

Similar to Team Select except for the selection process.

Breakers gather in the chat to prepare for the draft. In the draft, the picking order is randomized. Breakers are able to choose the team they want so long as its still available.

At CloutsnChara, we will go in order from 1-28 based on the random. Whichever 2 Teams do not get picked will be randomized to 2 people in the break before the break starts.

Switch Break

See ‘Team Draft’ – Difference is that the break will be split in two and the draft order will flipped for the second part.

Example: Dan has first pick in the first part of the break, he will have the last pick in the second part of the break.

Draft Style

This is done in a very similar fashion to pro-sports entry drafts, only snake style. Once the break is full, the boxes are broken and immediately following the draft order is determined via Whoever lands on top, gets first pick of whichever card they would like from the break, 2nd gets to pick from what’s left, so on and so forth until there are no cards remaining. Snake style means whoever has last pick in the first round, gets first pick in the second round of drafting.

Division Style

See ‘Team Style’ – One difference is that it is broken down by NHL division not team. Central, Atlantic etc.

HIT Style

Primarily used for ITG case GB’s (I.e. H&P, BTP etc…)

1) Number of spots varies
2) Hits are determined by labelling everyone’s name onto a decoy or business card and shuffling them prior to the break. As the break is happening whoever has their name on top of the stack will be getting the next Game Used or Auto card pulled and all inserts leading up to it. Once the hit is pulled, their name and cards are moved to the side and the next person on top gets the next hit and all inserts leading up to it.
3) If there are more hits than spots, the ‘extra’ hits will be given away individually via
4) This is a simple list to categorise every C&C Mixed Box Group Break. Each price point will have a different label applied to it to help people choose which Group Breaks they would like to join.

CloutsnChara Specific Terms

Micro Mini

Any Break $19 or less


Any Break $20-$29

Mega Mini

Any Break $30-$39


Any Break $40-$69

Mini Monster

Any Break $70-$99


Any Break $100-$149

Mega Monster

Any Break $150 & Up

[UD] Denotes descriptions originally written in Upper Deck’s Guide to Collecting booklet