By Kevin Lee aka gosens151911

With the 2008/09 season finished and the 2009/10 one quickly approaching, it’s once again time for collectors to start watching the fluctuation of card values begin. The 2009/10 season is important for many players to either solidify their place as NHL stars or become the fateful draft bust. Many collectors will definitely be watching many players closely. Here are five players whose upcoming season will no doubt have the biggest impact on their card values.

5. Justin Pogge
Justin PoggePogge had already been named the goalie of the future for the Leafs before even playing a single NHL game. With many minor league successes, including a gold medal in the 2006 World Junior Championship for Team Canada, there was no reason to doubt that this Canadian kid would shine for Toronto when his time came. He was so hyped that he was given a #/99 rookie card in the 2008/09 The Cup, usually one of the most sought-after cards. Unfortunately his few starts in the NHL weren’t the greatest and already people began labeling him a bust. Following the 2008/09 season, the Leafs signed Jonas Gustavsson, putting an end to Pogge’s career with the Leafs. He was soon traded to the Anaheim Ducks. At only 23 years old, Pogge is still very young for a goaltender. The major question is whether he will crumble with past disappointments or persevere and become an elite goalie in the league. With many rookie cards on the market falling in value, he could be a solid investment if he ends up turning his career around.

4. Carey Price
Carey Price Being a 5th overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens comes with high expectations, even more so being a goaltender. Following a solid rookie season, there were a few who began comparing Price to Patrick Roy, one of the greatest goalies Montreal had. Unfortunately the 2008/09 season was not very friendly for Price. He started off well before running into an injury. Upon returning, he along with his entire team struggled, barely clinching a playoff spot before being swept by the Boston Bruins. The result was many of his cards falling a bit in value. Nevertheless, with the new season approaching and the hype always surrounding the Canadiens, his cards have begun to climb back up in value. Now it’s all up to him to show whether he will become the star the Canadiens had hope they drafted. His cards values will always remain relatively high as he plays for Montreal, but the question is whether they can go up more. If he plays well and brings Montreal deep into the playoffs, there is almost no doubt they can.

3. Semyon Varlamov
Totally unknown at the beginning of the 2008/09 season, his rookie cards were being sold for a few dollars each. However Theodore’s struggling play in the 2008/09 playoffs paved the way for Varlamov to enter the spotlight. He shined in the first round, leading the Capitals past the NY Rangers, advancing to the second round for the first time in since 1998. However, the Capitals were eliminated in the second round. Nevertheless, Varlamov gained himself a new legion of collectors and his cards quickly skyrocketed in value. The question now remains whether or not he can go a full year as a #1 goalie. Only then will the true value of his cards be known.

2. Steven Stamkos
One of the most hyped rookies in some time, Stamkos had become the new face of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Being the number one overall pick came with the expectations of a great rookie season. Unfortunately, the beginning of the 2008/09 season was not friendly as his minutes declined with a poor point production. However, he turned it around in the second half of the season, still managing to be fifth in rookie scoring. Nevertheless, his early season falters led to his cards probably not having as high a value as they could. The 2009/10 season may be the season he establishes himself as an elite forward and thus raise his rookie card values up to those of other recent stars such as Kane and Toews.

1. Steve Mason
Mason was likely one of the biggest surprises of the 2008/09 season. An injury to starting goaltender Pascal LeClaire opened the door for Mason to play in the NHL. He took the opportunity and thrived, winning the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year and leading the Blue Jackets to their first ever playoff appearance. Unfortunately for Mason, he plays for the Blue Jackets and doesn’t have the advantage of being on a big market team such as Carey Price. However, he is Canadian, which will definitely increase his card values. Nevertheless, his cards will likely see a change in value this upcoming season based on his play, whether it be up or down. Many wonder if he was simply a one-year wonder, only time will tell.