Base Card Design -
The UD Premier base card comes on thick card stock similar to that of what Ultimate collection base cards have. They are about the thickness of a regular jersey card. As with most card sets, thicker card stock denotes a more premium product - and UD Premier is certainly premium. Each base card is limited to just 249 copies. The cards have a modern design with geometric shapes that border the player. Silver foil highlights the card and adds some shine that makes the card pop a bit. The design is typical for Upper Deck. It's nice, but doesn't stand out meaningfully.
UD Premier goes the acetate route with their Premier Rookie cards. They actually remind me a lot of the National Treasures rookie cards from last year. These cards come embedded with a large swatch of patch right in the center. The patch is highlighted by a foil border. Above the patch is the player photo, and below is a place for an on-card player autograph. It's a clean looking card, but again doesn't scream greatness at me. I do like these rookie cards better than the standard base design, but it's a bit plain for me still. Rookie cards are either numbered to 299 or 199 like the Jonathan Drouin card above.
Base Card Design Score:
A box of UD Premier only comes with seven cards. I have found that most boxes will have two base cards in them - which leaves you with five hits. Premier has its fair share of amazing hits. Collectors will find giant patches and autographs of the NHL's best.
The rookie cards come with plain jersey parallel cards. These cards have a nice shiny rainbow foil with a spot on the card for the player's event-worn jersey patch. These are most definitely just filler cards in the product. I'm not sure how many hard core collectors would get excited over these. That being said, if you're a player collector these are nice and easy cards to find and add to your collection.
Dual jersey hits like this one of John Tavares and Ryan Strome are marginally better than the single jersey hits. I do like the design on these much more since it's pretty different than the base design. These actually remind me of the OPC Premier dual jersey cards from 09/10.
I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that all collectors enjoy on-card autographs, and that's what UD Premier has. The clean look of the Legendary Signature cards is nice and there is ample room for the player to leave a nice large signature. Unlike some of the other cards in set, these are not serial numbered.
The best card in my box was the Jonathan Drouin rookie card, and I'm quite happy pulling that! But there are many other sweet cards to be had in UD Premier. I'm sure collectors will especially appreciate that huge hand numbered patch cards that can be found here. These patch cards are like the ones that Panini used to put in Prime when they made cards.
Overall Score -
UD Premier is an expensive product... upwards of $200! It is certainly a high risk, high reward type of brand. For the collectors with big pockets it is a break that is super fun. It's always great looking in packs and seeing what amazing pulls come out. For collectors that find it to be a bit too expensive, it might be wise to hold off on a box of this. My advice to them would just be to find singles on eBay as they will be a significantly cheaper option.
Upper Deck has done a nice job in bringing back UD Premier. Part of me is a little underwhelmed by it, but it still has cards in it that are absolutely jaw-droppingly awesome. But I guess that's just how these pricey product are nowadays.
Check out my box of UD Premier: