NHL teams are getting ready to open their training camps and the first preseason games will be played this weekend. Before the puck drops on the 2014-15 season, let’s go back and look at some of the rookies and young stars that generated a lot of buzz around the hobby last season.
Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche: The first overall pick in the 2013 draft lived up to the hype last season as he led all rookie scorers and won the Calder Trophy. The youth movement in Colorado helped the Avalanche finish with the highest point total in the Western Conference.
MacKinnon’s cards are still on fire going into this season. There are plenty of rookie cards to go after in the 2013-14 hockey products section. We had one customer pull a 1/1 Panini National Treasures jersey shield autograph card that is now listed on eBay at $24,999!
Nail Yakupov – Edmonton Oilers: Last season was Yakupov’s second in Edmonton after being drafted first overall in 2012. He struggled in his sophomore season with only 24 points in 63 games (he had 31 pts in 48 games in his first year) and a plus-minus rating of -33. Yakupov has also been at the center of several trade rumors with the Oilers having a glut of young, talented forwards.
Yakupov rookie cards made their way into packs last season and did well despite the sophomore slump. Prices typically fall in the second tier of rookies behind MacKinnon.
Alex Galchenyuk/Brendan Gallagher – Montreal Canadiens: Last season both Galchenyuk and Gallagher improved on their impressive rookie campaigns as they finished in the top 10 scorers for “Les Habitants”. With the departure of several veterans in the offseason this duo could become even bigger contributors on the score sheet. Combine that with the fact they play in hockey-crazy Montreal and it’s easy to see why there’s a demand for their rookie cards from 2013-14.
Some other rookie cards to collect from last season include: Aleksander Barkov (Florida), Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo), Dougie Hamilton (Boston), Seth Jones (Nashville), Olli Maatta (Pittsburgh), Sean Monahan (Calgary) and Tyler Toffoli (Los Angeles). While there wasn’t a superb standout rookie goalie from last season you should still keep an eye out for Jack Campbell (Dallas), John Gibson (Anaheim) and Petr Mrazek (Detroit).