Top 10 Upper Deck Hockey Young Guns Rookie Cards
Other than Topps Baseball, few base sets are collected as religiously as Upper Deck Hockey. Every year, hockey card collectors rip packs, trade, track and buy the singles they need to complete their sets. Not surprisingly, rookie cards play a key part in Upper Deck Hockey's lasting popularity.
The Young Guns rookie subset should be the envy of the hobby. Although short printed, they're still attainable for the average collector. As a result, set builders, rookie card collectors, player collectors and fans of specific teams all compete for the cards. In catering to all segments of the collecting community, the laws of supply and demand kick in and prices hold extremely well over time.
Despite coming from a mid-range product and not carrying any serial numbering, Upper Deck's Young Guns often sell for more than their numbered counterparts from other brands. It demonstrates the loyalty the cards have among collectors.
Of course, there's several autographed and memorabilia rookie cards that trump the Young Guns as far as value go, but such Cadillac sets like The Cup and Panini Dominion aren't an option for a lot of collectors. Young Guns rookies are and that's why they're so important to the hobby.
Here's a list of the top 10 Upper Deck Hockey Young Guns through 2010-11. With 2011-12 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey coming out, expect a couple more benchmark cards that could be included on the list, including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Despite still being out with a concussion and no definite time to return, Sidney Crosby's 2005-06 Upper Deck rookie card remains one of the hobby's icons with raw copies still commanding more than $220.
If you're able to find one of these for under $100, snatch it up. Much of the supply has been absorbed into personal collections now, making this card fairly tough to find online.
Similar to Nash, Henrik Zetterberg's rookie card is also difficult to find now. As a result, ungraded cards of the Red Wings leader regularly command about $100.
Should Alexander Ovechkin finally get the Capitals a Stanley Cup, expect to see the Russian's rookie to soar higher than the $70-80 it brings in. The flashy sniper is one of the game's biggest and most polarizing superstars.
Like his Penguins teammate, Crosby, Evgeni Malkin is one of the NHL's greatest scorers. Also like Crosby, injuries have been a regular part of his career. That hasn't stopped collectors from consistently paying more than $60 for his first Upper Deck hockey card.
With the Oilers' youth movement starting to click, collectors can look for big things to come out of the City of Champions very shortly. Taylor Hall is at the forefront of Edmonton's young core, displaying flashy moves and a knack for scoring. His Young Guns rookie is currently selling for $55-60.
As Steven Stamkos continues to heat up the ice in Tampa, collectors will continue to pursue this card. Currently moving in the $50-60 range, Stamkos is one of hockey's elite stars.
Part of Chicago's core that brought them a Stanley Cup in 2010, Jonathan Toews is continuing to develop. Although a leader in a big market team, he'll likely have to increase his offensive production for this card to go higher than the $45 it's currently moving at.
The first overall pick in the 2009 draft, John Tavares looks to be taking his game to another level this season. Although he plays for an Islanders franchise that is largely ignored, lots of Canadian collectors still have fond memories of him with the national team. Tavares' Young Guns rookie card currently sells for about $40.
No matter what happens in Tyler Seguin's career, he will forever be remembered as a key part of Boston's 2011 Stanley Cup victory. Entering just his second year, expectations are high on Seguin that he'll keep the Bruins in contention for years to come. As a result, his 2010-11 Upper Deck rookie card is moving in the $35-40 range.
The only goalie to make the list, Carey Price has a huge hobby following. Should Montreal make a major push toward bringing the Stanley Cup back to Canada, the $35-40 this card is currently selling for will be a bargain.