Are you excited for the upcoming hockey season and looking to add to your collection? You are in luck because we have the sports card Card Investors NHL 2021-2022 season preview up and ready to go.
The card companies, particularly Upper Deck, have many releases planned for the upcoming season. Our guide will help separate the essential investments from the distractions. You can thank us once you are done reading.
Every season brings with it surprising and unforeseen developments. Therefore, it is next to impossible to predict the main storylines competing for the attention of fans in the 2021-2022 season. Nonetheless, some exciting trends are almost sure to make headlines. Therefore, we have also made an effort to outline their influence on your hockey card investment outlook for the coming year.
Connor McDavid is the unanimous choice as top gun in hockey. Back in 2017 and 2018, there was no debate on the issue, and no one was genuinely threatening to dethrone the centre. But the last two seasons have seen a dip in his form and reopened the dormant supremacy debate. Nonetheless, he is only 24 years old and is likely to rediscover his form. After all, players tend to peak around age 27 to 29. Nevertheless, he faces some intense competition from Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews as the overall top gun. So it is hard to say at this point which will be the best player in the NHL at the end of the season.
The players union and NHL have agreed to allow the players a break when they go into the Beijing Olympics. The big stage at that even will let exciting prospects break out, and the legends cement their legacies. Therefore, we advise you to make investments in likely breakout players before the Olympics. It is also good to note who follows Covid-19 protocols and who isn’t because the Olympic Committee is expected to crack down on the unvaccinated.
The 36-year-old Russian is well past his prime but remains one of the better scorers in the NHL. This year, the Washington Capitals superstar has a shot at reaching some historical milestones. He currently stands at 6th on the all-time NHL scoring list with 730 career goals. That puts him well within the distance of the Geordie Howe at no. 2 with 801. It will be more challenging, but not impossible, to reach Gretzky’s legendary 894 mark within the next few years. The Russian will also break into the all-time top twenty in overall points but will not catch “the Great One” in that metric. Of course, the long-term value of Ovechkin’s cards will be determined by the outcome of the goal chase. His cards are already highly valuable but may reach stratospheric numbers for hockey cards if he climbs higher in the rankings. Therefore, if you believe Ovechkin has what it takes, invest sooner rather than later.
Upper Deck has the flagship hockey sports card release. Their rookies, in particular the Young Guns series, tend to hold the most value. They are also the most readily available in retail. Remember that Upper Deck also has an e-pack program, where you can buy cards virtually for the retail price and receive a physical copy if you so wish.
Similar to the Topps Series 1 and 2, Upper Deck spreads out the rookies evenly in the two releases. Typically, saving one prime prospect to headline each release. For example, Upper Deck put the highly touted Alexis Lafreniere in Series 1 and saved Kirill Kaprizov for the sequel. As the home of the essential Young Guns rookie cards, these are crucial releases for most hockey collectors.
The release features late trades and, most importantly, rookies debuting by February. In doing so, it completes the flagship series and performs a similar task to Topps Update. In addition, the rookies featured in Extended Hockey are also part of the Young Guns series, so it can be a popular release if it includes a good rookie crop.
Once a part of the flagship release, SP Authentic has become a separate high-end release. It is most noted for the inclusion of the Sign of the Times auto series. However, be warned that the quality of the autographs is sometimes questionable. Hockey players are known for scribbling initials or otherwise half-assing their signatures. Ink smudges are also common. However, some hockey collectors prefer the Future Watch rookie cards to the Young Guns featured in Series 1 and 2 and therefore buy heavily into SP Authentic.
It is a veteran company that has been releasing hockey cards in various guises since 1921. The company has always appealed to children with bubble gum and flashy designs. However, the company was purchased by Topps in 1995 and later repurposed by Upper Deck in 2006. Today, this set is known for its reasonable price and massive base set.
Parkhurst is another formerly independent Canadian card manufacturer purchased by the rapacious Upper Deck company. Their releases are heavily oriented towards the retail market.
There are many superstars and franchise players in this league. So naturally, it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just a few. But some names are just too big to ignore. Note that we skipped Alexei Ovechkin. Not because he isn’t likely to play an essential part in the hockey collectibles world, but because I already tooted his horn at length earlier in the article.
Connor is almost universally considered the best hockey player in the world. His speed with the puck and scoring capabilities are unparalleled. Indeed, statistically, he is one of the most dominant players in the history of the sport. Nonetheless, there has been a significant dip in his capabilities over the last two years.
In particular, there are concerns over his defense and his decreased willingness to finish breakouts independently. Therefore, it is not clear if he will become a new Gretzky or just a big star. One thing is sure, Connor’s cards currently reflect an assumption that he is on the way to becoming an all-time great. Therefore, do not invest unless you concur.
Nathan was so good in the bubble that he will become the top player in the league if he can replicate that in a more extended season. He scored 137 points in the playoffs while making key plays on defense. It is his defense for the Avalanche that gives Nathan a substantial advantage over McDavid. The one reason he still lags behind the top-two in the sport is his lower assist totals. But the Maple Leaf star is only 24 and will probably considerably improve his game upon reaching the peak years.
MacKinnon rookie cards are currently available for a fraction of the Connor McDavid equivalents. Therefore, if you believe the centerman has what it takes to overthrow the king, now is the time to invest.
The Maple Leaf’s center is not as flashy as the other big stars in the list, but his ability to create and capitalize on goal chances is unparalleled. In addition, he matches his uncannily deceptive shot with sterling defensive capabilities. When you put these capabilities together, you end up with a player capable of emerging as the top hockey player in the world.
The prices for Matthews cards are similar to MacKinnon’s. Therefore, the principle is the same. Considering that he is the favorite to score over 50 goals this season, this is an excellent time to look at Auston’s cards.
Sidney was the best player in the sport for years, and even at his advanced age, he remains in the conversation. Unfortunately, the combination of his age and declining 5-5 numbers have conspired to remove the Pittsburgh Penguins legend from the best player sweepstakes. Nonetheless, he is expected to have another stellar season and add to an already staggering legacy.
Crosby’s cards go for similar prices to Connor McDavid rookies. Considering that Sidney is at the tail-end of his career, there is less scope for the cost to appreciate. However, buying his cards comes with the security that his place as a Hall-of-Famer is assured.
The German star is an absolute top-tier offensive player. Unfortunately, his defense is somewhere between lackluster and horrific. Leon and Dave Tippett are very much aware of this problem and are presumably taking steps towards amelioration. If the 25-year-old Draisaitl can turn his minuses into average capabilities, he will be on the road to superstardom.
Leon’s cards are low-priced when you consider his massive potential. But we know why there are question marks regarding the centerman’s ceiling.
So much for the established veterans in the sport. However, as always, the primary interest is in the top rookies. Unfortunately, for the league (although not necessarily for player development), this year, the primary draft picks elected to hold back another year and pursue juniors or college play. Therefore, the rookie class will consist primarily of older draft picks breaking in this year.
With that in mind, here are the top rookies to look into:
Zegras has already taken a top-six spot for the Ducks and will likely be even more influential in the 2021-2022 season. While he has intense competition for center in Adam Henrique, Zegras is the player of the future for the franchise. His rookie cards strike us as a substantial investment.
Cole was not a marquee draftee, picked at no. 15 out of the University of Wisconsin in 2019. However, his ability to hit the NHL ice running (errr….skating) was remarkable. The rookie helped the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It is hard to doubt that a player who scored 12 playoffs goals within months of his debut has what it takes to be a league difference-maker.
Moritz has some of the most impressive two-way capabilities of any of the incoming players. He has shown his skills repeatedly in the AHL, the German DEL, and the Swedish SHL. Since the Detroit Red Wings clearly lack defensive quality, the highly experienced rookie will play a crucial role this season.
Spencer is easily the most promising goaltender coming into the league. After coming out of Boston University, Knight played a few games in goal for the Florida Panthers and showed he had the right stuff. When the team reached the playoffs, the youngster found himself trusted with the starting goalie spot. We have little doubt that he will be one of the top goaltenders in the NHL.
The Los Angeles Kings centerman is a highly rated 2019 no. 2 draft pick. He played a mere 6 NHL games last year, but his performance in the AHL has been promising, and he is expected to make an essential contribution to the Kings roster. Unfortunately, he fractured his ankle in a preseason game. Nonetheless, Byfield is expected to have a great career once he comes back.
Alex is an excellent centerman prospect. Perhaps his main issue will be gaining a first-team spot on the stacked Avalanche team. But we believe he will do fine. His agility and ability to run rings around the opposition are premium commodities and will not be wasted by Colorado.
After last year’s strange bubble season, the NHL is hoping to have a more normal season. With a slightly weaker than usual crop of rookies, we expect the big headlines to come from the most outstanding veterans as they battle for supremacy. However, there is money to be had by investing in veterans such as Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews before they leap legendary status.