With this year’s shortened NHL season, the NHLPA and the trading card manufacturers were forced to hold off on making a full class of rookie cards for the 2012/13 hockey season. There just wasn’t enough time to acquire all the autographs and get everything set with the shortened schedule, and as a result the manufacturers cancelled many of their planned releases. The only rookies included in the limited amount of 2012/13 hockey products are those who debuted after the 2012 All-Star Game through the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. That class of rookies in 2012/13 products is led by Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, but is definitely missing major star power.
What this sets up is something comparable to the post lockout 2005/06 season where we had a “double rookie class”. Of course, that year was almost a perfect storm of star power when you consider collectors had a shot at rookie cards of both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, not to mention other stars including Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Ward, Mike Richards, Thomas Vanek, and Dion Phaneuf. When you look to 2013/14 hockey products and the upcoming double rookie class, the future is incredibly bright. Rookies from the 2012/13 season as well as rookies who qualify at the start of the 2013/14 season will be included in 2013/14 hockey products. Let’s take a look at some of the top rookies from the 2012/13 season who will have upcoming rookie cards, as well as some of top prospects who could play early in the 2013/14 NHL season and qualify for a rookie card.
Top 2012/13 NHL Rookies:
Nail Yakupov (RW, Edmonton Oilers) – Led all rookies in goals with 17. Tallied 14 assists for a total of 31 points in 48 games played to tie for rookie scoring league. Drafted 1st Overall by Edmonton in 2012.
Jonathan Huberdeau (C, Florida Panthers) – Netted 14 goals and tallied 17 assists to tie Yakupov in rookie scoring with 31 points. Drafted 3rd Overall by Florida in 2011.
Alex Galchenyuk (C, Montreal Canadiens) – Scored 27 points in his rookie campaign. Drafted 3rd Overall by Montreal in 2012.
Other Hot Rookies: Vladimir Tarasenko (RW, St. Louis Blues), Cory Conacher (LW, Ottawa Senators), Brendan Gallagher (RW, Montreal Canadiens), Brendon Saad (LW, Chicago Blackhawks), Mika Zibanejad (C, Ottawa Senators), Jakob Silfverburg (LW, Ottawa Senators), (This is just a partial list, as other players will surely demand value on the secondary market).
Top 2013 NHL Draft Prospects
Seth Jones (D) – Rated top overall North American draft prospect by NHL Central Scouting.
Nathan MacKinnon (C) – Rated second overall North American draft prospect by NHL Central Scouting.
Jonathan Drouin (LW) – Rated third Overall North American draft prospect by NHL Central Scouting.
Jones, MacKinnon, and Drouin look to be the Big 3 in this year’s draft and will create tons of buzz. The draft has also been labeled as being a very deep first round with lots of talent, so the double rookie class could be even stronger than thought of.
Both Upper Deck and Panini, the two licensed manufacturers of NHL Hockey Cards, will be heavily promoting their upcoming products. In The Game will also have on card autograph content of the “big 3” Jones, MacKinnon, and Drouin in their upcoming 2013 Draft Prospects Hobby Box. Looking forward, Upper Deck will begin in July with announcing their checklist from 2012/13 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey and 2012/13 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey Rookie Redemption Cards. Following that, the first live rookie content will come in 2013/14 Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey, 2013/14 O-Pee-Chee Hockey, 2013 Upper Deck Team Canada Hockey, 2013/14 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey, and then in November will come 2013/13 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey (which will be one of the first products to feature live rookie card content from members of the 2013/14 Double Rookie Class) . Panini will release it’s first new rookies in 2013/14 Score Hockey, and will be announcing much more about their product schedule and plans for the double rookie class.
It should be a very, very fun year for collectors and hockey cards in general, and we can’t wait for the upcoming draft and new hockey products. To see what products are coming up, you can always check out our hockey cards section or go directly to our hockey boxes pre-order page.
Which rookies are you planning to collect?