Sometimes lost in the mainstream hype for Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel is still not a new name for most collectors. The second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft enjoyed additional focus based on the early injury to McDavid and has a better chance to build his case for the Calder Memorial Trophy. Although limited, Jack Eichel rookie cards are growing in number and we highlight the key options below.
While they are very different players, the comparisons between Eichel and McDavid will likely continue for some time based on their selection at the top of the draft. Whereas McDavid signed with Upper Deck, Eichel opted for a deal with Leaf, making his autograph cards exclusive to Leaf and ITG-branded products. Because Eichel has no early autographs that pre-date his NHL career, Leaf is literally the only place to find his certified signed cards for the foreseeable future.
Similar to Damian Lillard a few years back, the deal with Leaf slightly changes the collecting choices. However, collectors can still find Jack Eichel cards in Upper Deck products and that will include relic cards. Upper Deck will also be the only place to find his officially-licensed NHL rookie cards.
Available in 2015-16 hockey products, the key Jack Eichel cards are noted below. The guide will be updated as more products are released throughout the year.
Jack Eichel Rookie Cards Guide
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Collectors are greeted with nice patch for the Jack Eichel rookie in 2015-16 Fleer Showcase. While the rest of the Hot Prospects Patch cards also offer a sticker autograph, Eichel's signature exclusion is a consistent theme among his more premium rookie options. There are also quite a view retro inserts that include Eichel in the release. Most notable of these would be the Precious Metal Gems (PMG).
Without a doubt, this is the rarest Jack Eickel rookie card. Serial numbered to his jersey number (#/15), nothing else really stands out on the 2015-16 SP Game Used card but the rarity alone is enough to make it special. Completists may just have to make their peace with not owning one of these limited cards as they rarely surface and sell for a ton. Those looking for something more manageable can grab the jersey version of the base card that offers a 399 print run.
An example of the downside to a design that is based around a signature is the fact that once it is removed, the end result is even more awkward. Such is the case with Eichel's 2015-16 SPx card. The huge "X" design, complete with tiny jersey pieces, dominates the focus and the small image of Eichel barely seems to fit.
Saved for UD Series 2, Eichel Young Guns rookie has finally arrived for collectors. Other options include the YG checklist card (#500) that pairs him with Zachary Fucale. Collectors can also find the OPC Update card for Eichel in Series 2.
A key card for Eichel despite not featuring an autograph or patch, the Black Diamond rookie earns a top spot thanks to the limited print run and four diamonds. Although it was issued earlier in the collecting year, this will remain on his most valuable options.
Part of the 2015-16 Full Force Freshman subset, this lenticular rookie for Eichel might not translate well in the image below, but it will be one of the more unique rookie options to chase and the price tag is still quite reasonable.
Collectors can find a trio of Jack Eichel rookies in 2015-16 Trilogy and each features a different image and rarity. The print runs for Level 1 and Level 2 are on the larger side, but Level 3 is limited to just 49 copies. While the other rookies feature signed versions, there is a jersey relic parallel for Eichel's Level 1 card.
Other Key Jack Eichel 2015-16 Hockey Cards
Although it is technically an insert in Black Diamond, the brand power and overall quality of the Exquisite Collection Rookies card for Jack Eichel virtually guarantees strong interest and value. Because of this, many collectors will treat it as an official rookie.
One of the very first Jack Eichel cards does not even note him by name, but as the 15-16 Artifacts Rookie Redemption for the Buffalo Sabres, most collectors suspected he would be the subject. Upper Deck has since confirmed that the redemption card is for Eichel. He also has an Artifacts Update card in 2015-16 SPx.
Another redemption for Jack Eichel, 2015-16 MVP included cards that were redeemable for eight-card sets from each division. Eichel is included in the Atlantic Division group that also features Dylan Larkin.
While Upper Deck elected to save the base Young Guns rookie card for Jack Eichel until UD Series 2, collectors can still find his Canvas Young Guns card in 2015-16 Series 1. There is also a very limited Draft SP insert for Eichel and the Canvas checklist card features him alongside Dylan Larkin.
As the very first pack-pulled autograph for Jack Eichel, this premium Superlative card will be very elusive and valuable. Signed on-card and limited to just 25 copies, Leaf previously mentioned that this will be his most limited autographed option. A special one-of-one parallel showcases his full signature.
While his inclusion in a baseball product might seem odd, 2015 Leaf Trinity brings the national pastime into play by including a shot of his first pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Collectors can find both autographs and autograph patch cards in the set and this appears to be among the easiest Jack Eichel autographs to locate.
Offering multiple cards for Jack Eichel, 2015-16 Leaf Ultimate includes relics, autographs and autographed relics for the young star. All cards feature limited print runs and there are several parallels for each version. However, given the nature of his previous Leaf autographs, these are the most plentiful Jack Eichel hockey autographs to date.
Another early autograph for Eichel, the Exclusive Auto Patch was only found at the 2015 Fall Expo. Limited to 25 copies, there is also another version without a sticker autograph, but it does feature a larger patch.