AHL partners with Upper Deck

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association and Upper Deck announced today a partnership that sees Upper Deck become the league’s exclusive official and nationally distributed trading card licensee.

Already the exclusive trading card manufacturer of the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association, Upper Deck will now extend its reach to include American Hockey League hockey cards exclusively as well. In addition, the deal allows Upper Deck to produce AHL trading card games, posters, stickers and figurines.

“We are excited to be able to work with the American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck. “With the start of the hockey season just around the corner, there is no better time to announce this new deal and to offer the AHL’s dedicated fans a new way to experience the game.”

Upper Deck’s 2013-14 AHL Hockey box set contains a complete set of 100 prospects, including Tomas Jurco, Zach Boychuk, Oscar Klefbom, Mike Hoffman, Nathan Beaulieu, Jake Allen, Martin Jones, Tom McCollum, Dustin Tokarski and many other of today’s top prospects. To make the set even more appealing, five Autographed Cards are included in every box.

The next set of 2014-15 Upper Deck AHL Hockey cards will be released in Spring 2015 and will feature the next crop of top AHL players, along with more autographs, stickers and new collectible logo patches.

“The AHL is thrilled to be able to bring the excitement of our league to fans though AHL trading cards and collectibles,” said David Andrews, AHL president and chief executive officer. “I know Upper Deck will be a great licensee to work with both now and in the future.”

“This partnership is a huge credit to the caliber of players within the AHL who are thrilled to be featured by Upper Deck — a world-class leader in the trading card industry,” said Darryl Dionne, director of communications and business development for the PHPA. “This historic inaugural set is filled with top prospects on the verge of becoming full-time National Hockey League players, and we look forward to working with Upper Deck to feature PHPA Members for years to come.”

The first-ever Upper Deck AHL Hockey box set can now be found at AHLStore.com and on store shelves at local hobby shops, and is sure to be a coveted collector’s item for dedicated hockey fans of all ages.

About Upper Deck
Upper Deck is a worldwide sports and entertainment company built on the pillars of quality craftsmanship, authenticity and innovation. Upper Deck revolutionized the sports trading card experience with anti-counterfeit holograms, high quality card stock and stunning photography in its inaugural 1989 baseball set, and since then its mission has been to capture the excitement of the game and deliver it to fans of all ages. Upper Deck has strong ties to Canada and holds exclusive agreements with the NHL, NHLPA, Hockey Canada, Hockey Hall of Fame, Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr. Find more information at www.upperdeck.com, www.UpperDeckBlog.com or follow us on Facebook (UpperDeck), Twitter (@UpperDeckSports), and YouTube (udvids).

About the American Hockey League
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Visit theahl.com and follow the AHL on Facebook (fb.com/theahl) and Twitter (@TheAHL).

About the PHPA
Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests. Currently, the PHPA is the certified, U.S. National Labor Relations Board collective bargaining representative for over 1,500 players across 58 teams throughout the American Hockey League, ECHL, and Central Hockey League.