Last month I traded 225$ BV worth of rookies for inserts (yes, inserts not game used or autos) of Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. Why you ask? Well mainly because I do not collect rookies, I know there is a lot of hype about a lot of these guys, but the fact is, year in year out, the hype dies down and the value of their cards goes down. However, this year, I have decided to make an exception. On top of Roy and Brodeur, I have decided to start collecting Carey Price. What can I say, a) he is an Habs goalie and b) he has really impressed me this year by how level headed he seems to be even at such a young age.  Have I made the right decision? Well, time will tell. In the meantime, I thought we could have a look at some of the hottest rookies of the year and see what kind of price their cards can fetch on the market.

Giving credit where credit is due, I will first have a look at Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks wonder kid has had an excellent year and his stats speak for themselves: 73 games played, 17 goals, 45 assists and 62 points. Not a bad tally considering he is playing on a weak team in Chicago. No one is really surprised however, the expectations were always going to be high for the 1st pick overall of the 2007 draft. On a monetary front, getting some of his cards could seriously set you back, or selling them could give you some serious spending money! His SPx rookie auto jersey currently books at 250$, his Upper Deck Young Guns at 80$, his Artifacts rookie redemption at 100$ and his SPGU rookie can fetch up to 300$.

Next up, his teammate with the Hawks, Jonathan Toews. The 3rd choice overall in the 2006 entry draft has had an excellent year, only being slowed down by injuries. In 57 games, he has recorded 21 goals, 27 assists and 58 points. Fantastic stats considering that he picked up an injury on the 1st of January and returned on the 10th of February, looking like he didn’t miss a beat. The talk in Chicago right now is that this guy is a true leader and that he will be the Hawks’ captain before long. As for his cards, they have almost caught up in value with Kane’s ones: the SPx rookie auto jersey being the only one that is worth less at 225$, the Young Guns at 80$, the Artifacts rookie redemption at 100$ and his SPGU also reaches 300$.

Let’s now move away from the Hawks and turn our attention to Washington where Alexander Ovechkin is not the topic of all conversations anymore. This year, there is a new addition which is making a lot of noise in the Caps’ line-up Nicklas Backstrom. Picked 4th overall in the 2006′s entry draft, he is definitely making his mark and he made the most of the occasion to play with Ovechkin when his regular center was injured. So far, in 76 games, he has 14 goals, 50 assists for 64 points. I can hear some people say that it’s not a lot of goals, but when you play on a line with the shooting machine that is AO, you set him up and he puts them in. Not many so called experts thought that Backstrom would be leading the rookie scoring race at this stage of the season. Interestingly, his SPx rookie jersey only books at 125$, his Young Guns at a mere 40$ (up from 25$ in November), his Artifacts tops at 40$ as well and his SPGU is listed at 200$. His cards are by far the most affordable when it comes to the rookies involved in the Calder trophy race.

Now for my personal favourite, Carey Price. The 20 year old started the season in Montreal as Cristobal Huet’s back-up but his performance convinced Bob Gainey to trade his number one goaltender to Washington and attack the upcoming playoffs with Price as his main man. This year, Price has taken part in 35 games, winning 18, losing 12 and 3 in overtime (not being implicated in the remaining 2 decisions). He has a goal against average of 2.67 and a save percentage of 91.6%. Amongst rookie goaltenders he is the one who has played the most and has the best save percentage out of those who have played in 20 games or more. To compare, Patrick Roy, in his rookie year took part in 47 matches winning 23, losing 18 and drawing 3 with a goal against average of 3.35. Price does show rather promising numbers and the value of his cards certainly reflect this state of affair: 250$ for the SPx rookie auto jersey, 70$ for the Young Guns, 125$ for the Artifacts rookie redemption and a solid 300$ for the SPGU.

SPx UD YG Artifacts SPGU
Kane 250$ 80$ 100$ 300$
Toews 225$ 80$ 100$ 300$
Backstrom 125$ 40$ 40$ 200$
Price 250$ 70$ 125$ 300$

I am not really surprised by the high value of most of these cards. However, one can wonder why both Kane and Toews’ cards are worth so much more than Backstrom’s.  The latter is currently leading the rookies in scoring, and it would not be that much of a surprise to see him skate away with the Calder trophy, especially if the Capitals manage to get into the playoffs.

I do plan on coming back to this article in a year’s time and comparing how much the same cards are worth. Generally, in the last few years, rookie cards have been very high value in the first year but have gone down quite drastically in the following year. It will be interesting to keep track of these young players and see if they have been a smart investment for the collectors.