Return of the Mac! Full Nathan MacKinnon Rookie Card Guide

Return of the Mac! Full Nathan MacKinnon Rookie Card Guide

The face of the Colorado Avalanche and still quite young, Nathan MacKinnon has brought some excitement back to the franchise. This, in turn, has resulted in renewed interest for Nathan MacKinnon rookie cards.

MacKinnon started his NHL career with lots of promise and fanfare. Following a tremendous junior career, he was taken first overall by the Avalanche in the 2013 draft. While there already were plenty of Nathan MacKinnon pre-rookie cards to chase at that point, his first NHL cards had to wait a little bit. However, having cracked Colorado's opening night roster, the floodgate for Nathan MacKinnon rookie cards soon opened. Collectors were rewarded when MacKinnon took home the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year.

Although he didn't make Panini and Upper Deck's first sets of the 2013-14 hobby year, collectors still have lots to choose from. Whether you're into autographs or you just want a (relatively) cheap card for your collection, they're all available. He is part of a loaded double-rookie crop that includes players who debuted in '13-14 and the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

Of course, notable Nathan MacKinnon cards aren't limited to this list. If you want a snapshot of his key options in real-time, take a look at the most popular MacKinnon card auctions on eBay.

Nathan MacKinnon Rookie Card Checklist and Gallery

Click on the card name or image to shop for singles on eBay. Bolded sets go directly to product profiles. 

2013-14 Fleer Showcase Nathan MacKinnon RC #207 Autograph Patch #/175

With both an autograph and a patch swatch, there are some high-end elements on display in 2013-14 Fleer Showcase. However, MacKinnon's wild signature does not lend itself well to stickers as many examples across his rookie season run off the sides. There are also popular rookie inserts like Jambalaya, Precious Metal Gems, SkyBox Premium Prospects Star Rubies, and Ultra Rookies Medallion.

2013-14 O-Pee-Chee Nathan MacKinnon #620

Some may not consider this to be an official rookie card as it's an insert (of a base card) in 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 2. When O-Pee-Chee came out, MacKinnon hadn't made his NHL debut yet. As it has done in recent years, Upper Deck added OPC Update cards to include various rookies.

2013-14 Panini Contenders Nathan MacKinnon RC #256 Autograph

As NHL collectors know, Contenders doesn't have the same Rookie Ticket history in hockey as it does in football. Still, as far as autographed rookie cards go, it's tough to pass on anything that comes with an on-card signature. Besides the basic version, the 2013-14 Contenders card also has a pair of rare variations, including the short print in the maroon jersey.

2013-14 Panini Contenders Hockey Rookie Ticket Autograph 256 Nathan MacKinnon

2013-14 Panini Crown Royale Nathan MacKinnon RC #181 Autograph Jersey #/99

Silhouettes have become some of the most distinct cards in the hobby and that is the rookie choice for MacKinnon in 2013-14 Crown Royale. Mixing an on-card signature, large jersey swatch (usually a patch or multi-color relic) and a small print run of 99 copies, it's a pricey and tough-to-find card.

2013-14 Panini Dominion Nathan MacKinnon RC #201 Autograph Patch #/99

With features normally reserved for a late-season release, this 2013-14 Dominion card has both a hard-signed autograph and a patch from a player-worn jersey. It's not a game-used piece of memorabilia, though. Numbered to 99, this high-end card is one of the top Nathan MacKinnon rookies.

2013-14 Panini National Treasures Nathan MacKinnon RC # Autograph Patch #/99

The Cup might have tradition and brand recognition on its side, but for many the 2013-14 National Treasures Nathan MacKinnon is the rookie to have. Besides the attractive design, the patch window is big and the serial numbering is low. Autographs are signed directly on the card, and to top it off, it's all done on a milky sort of acetate to really make it pop.

2013-14 Panini National Treasures 191 Nathan MacKinnon

2013-14 Panini Playbook Nathan MacKinnon RC #137 Autograph Dual Jersey #/199

This 2013-14 Playbook rookie card has no shortage of things going on. It's most distinct attribute is its format as a book card. Limited to 199 copies, there's an autograph and player-worn jersey strip on one side. The other side has a die-cut player image, a black-and-white portrait and a second jersey swatch.

2013-14 Panini Playbook Nathan MacKinnon RC

2013-14 Panini Prime Nathan MacKinnon RC #178 Autograph Quad Jersey #/199

2013-14 Prime is a relatively affordable option for those who have high-end tastes. It has four swatches, albeit small ones, and an on-card signature. While the print run is modest, it doesn't compare to top-tier MacKinnon cards.

2013-14 Panini Prizm Nathan MacKinnon #332

Similar to O-Pee-Chee, some might consider it a stretch to call this a rookie card. It's an update to the early-season Prizm set that was issued as an insert in 2013-14 Panini Rookie Anthology. Although Panini didn't get a lot of time to develop the Prizm brand in hockey, its chromium look is distinct for the sport.

2013-14 Panini Rookie Anthology Nathan MacKinnon RC #126 Autograph Jersey #/249

Part of the Rookie Selection subset, the main Anthology Nathan MacKinnon rookie card has a nice design. However, the sticker signature hurts value and demand to an extent.

2013-14 Panini Titanium Nathan MacKinnon RC #233 #/29

The 2013-14 Panini Titanium Nathan MacKinnon rookie card is all about scarcity. Official rookie cards from the set are limited to the player's jersey number. That means MacKinnon's has just 29 copies. Titanium does have more plentiful parallels and inserts that some collectors might have to settle for instead.

There is also a separate retail version of the card that comes numbered to 299.

2013-14 Panini Titanium Nathan MacKinnon RC

2013-14 Panini Totally Certified Nathan MacKinnon RC #229

Looking for something wild? 2013-14 Totally Certified takes no prisoners when it comes to bold designs. The basic version of the Nathan MacKinnon rookie doesn't have any enhancements beyond its look. As a result, it's relatively affordable. It's not the easiest card to find, though, as boxes don't have a lot of base cards. There's also an autographed jersey version that's more popular but also much more expensive.

2013-14 Score Nathan MacKinnon #686

This is another one of those update inserts that some call rookies while others consider them rookie-year insert cards. Either way, this Score card in Panini Rookie Anthology is one of the cheapest 2013-14 Nathan MacKinnon cards you're going to find.

2013-14 Score Nathan MacKinnon

2013-14 Select Nathan MacKinnon RC #301 Autograph #/399

2013-14 Select Hockey was the first set to have an autographed Nathan MacKinnon rookie card. Numbered to 399, it's done on chromium stock. The sticker used for the signature is a bit of a detraction, but this could prove to be a solid value over the long-term.

2013-14 Select Nathan MacKinnon RC

2013-14 SP Authentic Nathan MacKinnon RC #312 Autograph #/999 - Redemption

Historically, SP Authentic Hockey autographs do very well in the hobby and the 2013-14 SP Authentic Nathan MacKinnon rookie card is no exception. Despite the higher print run, it remains one of his more popular choices. It is good to note that they were originally packed out as redemptions.

2013-14 SP Game-Used Nathan MacKinnon RC #152 #/29

Like Panini Titanium, the MacKinnon rookie card in 2013-14 SP Game-Used is limited to 29 copies, matching his jersey number. Needless to say, it commands big prices on the secondary market despite being an otherwise plain card.

2013-14 SPx Nathan MacKinnon RC #208 Autograph Dual Jersey #/249

The big draw for 2013-14 SPx is the combination of an autograph and a pair of jersey swatches. The signature is on a sticker, which keeps the price down compared to the hard-signed releases. MacKinnon also has a base card in the Foil Rookies subset (#151).

2013-14 Upper Deck Young Guns Nathan MacKinnon RC #238

Despite no serial numbers or even much of a premium feel, the 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1 Nathan MacKinnon YG is one of his most widely coveted cards. The Young Guns name has a massive hobby following, even drawing in collectors who don't normally do much hockey. His popular Young Guns Canvas card is also found in Series 1.

2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond Nathan MacKinnon RC #229

Black Diamond's etched foil look is distinct. The tiered structure is also somewhat unique in that they're not serial numbered either.  MacKinnon is in the Quad Diamond Rookie Gems subset, which is the toughest pull at overall group odds of 1:13 hobby packs. Player collectors and set builders compete for copies of this 2013-14 UD Black Diamond rookie, giving it added crossover appeal.

2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond Nathan MacKinnon RC

2013-14 Upper Deck Ice Nathan MacKinnon RC #123 #/99

Included in 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond bonus packs, this acetate Premieres card is limited to just 99 copies. Rarity keeps prices fairly high.

2013-14 Upper Deck Ice Nathan MacKinnon RC

2013-14 Upper Deck The Cup Nathan MacKinnon RC #187 Autograph Patch #/99

This and National Treasures are the top end of the Nathan MacKinnon rookie card spectrum. The Cup has history and brand recognition on its side to go with the on-card autograph, patch and limited quantities. And while it's numbered to 99, there are actually only 98 of them in 2013-14 UD The Cup. Upper Deck confirmed one of the cards wasn't packed out due to a smudged signature.

2013-14 Upper Deck Trilogy Nathan MacKinnon #201 Autograph #/149

O-Pee-Chee, Score and Prizm are base update cards found in other products. Nathan MacKinnon's autographed Trilogy card is included in 2013-14 SPx, again calling into question whether it's a rookie or insert. No matter your personal preference, it's a low-numbered card with an autograph. In typical Trilogy fashion, he also has Level 2 (#/49) and Level 3 (#/25) versions with different images.

2013-14 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Nathan MacKinnon RC #171 Autograph #/99

Out of all of Nathan MacKinnon's premium rookie cards, 2013-14 Ultimate Collection could be a sleeper. It's rare, has an on-card signature and comes from a pricey product that doesn't have many cards per box. It won't reach the heights of The Cup or National Treasures, but it's definitely a key autograph.

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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff. His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

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