Are you ready for a semi-double rookie class in 2013-14 hockey card products? That's the scenario after it was confirmed that 2012-13 sets will only include rookies who debuted between the 2012 All-Star Game and the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. Those players making their debut during the shortened season will have to wait until next year's sets.
"We look forward to continuing our relationship with both Panini and Upper Deck to bring the best hockey players in the world to life through the dynamic and expanding trading card market," said Adam Larry of the NHLPA in a press release.
The last double rookie class hit the hobby in 2005-06 following the NHL's last labor dispute. Those products remain hugely popular, thanks in large part to rookie cards of both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. What's different this year is that Upper Deck and Panini can still draw from those that debuted late last year. While it's a relatively weak crop, there are a few standouts, such as Chris Kreider.
2012-13 basketball products have a similarly loaded rookie crop, combining players from both the 2011 and 2012 drafts.
Update: Panini has confirmed they will release three more 2012-13 products. 2012-13 Panini Limited Hockey is scheduled for February. 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology follows in June with 2012-13 Panini Prime in August. The previously announced 2012-13 Panini Titanium has been removed from their release calendar.