What Is The Most Valuable Hockey Card? [Expert Guide!]

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Hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world; it is played across Canada and in parts of the United States. The sport originated in Scotland in the 1800s, and its popularity has led to the creation of many cards and collections devoted to it. Due to the increasing value of these cards and the increasing rarity of some of them, it is important to try and identify the most valuable ones in order to fully appreciate their worth.

Early Skate Plus Cards

The early skate plus cards are quite valuable, if you can find them; they date back to the 1930s and 1940s, and their rarity makes them worth collecting. These cards often feature memorable hockey players from that era, including some of the greatest players of all time. Some of the most valuable cards are extremely rare; for example, only a few hundred exist, and each one is worth a considerable amount of money.

The Great Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player of all time. He was born on June 13, 1936 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and began playing hockey at the age of four. He became a professional hockey player at the age of 15 and won the first of his five Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins in 1960. Since then, he has gone on to win four more Stanley Cups with the Bruins, as well as another four with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is still active in the hockey world and currently serves as the secretary of the Boston University Alumni Association. The card featuring Orr on the front and a fantastic photograph of him on the back will be the first thing you look at when you open a pack of hockey cards, and the value is certainly reflected in the price. This particular card is worth about $3,000 – $5,000, and a complete set of his cards is worth about $15,000 – $20,000.

The Boss Man

Another famous hockey player who is extremely valuable is the late Art Ross, better known as “The Boss Man”. He managed the New York Rangers for over 30 years, and his hockey knowledge and experience helped the team win two Stanley Cups. He also served as a referee in the NHL from 1970 to 1980 and was the first person to implement the hybrid icing rule, which prevents icing and line-calling penalties on the same play. The Boss Man’s nickname came about because he was quite intimidating when he skated onto the ice; he would use his massive frame to push players around. In 1976, he was diagnosed with leukemia and died three months later at the age of 68. One of the rarest and most expensive Boss Man cards is worth approximately $7,000 – $9,000, and a complete set is worth about $22,000 – $28,000.

The Rocket

Another great hockey player who contributed greatly to the sport is Gordie “The Rocket” Robertson. He was responsible for breaking the NHL record for fastest goal on December 10, 1958, as well as the records for most goals and most assists in a season. His career spanned five decades and he played in six NHL All-Star games. He also won the Lady Byng trophy three times and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000. The Rocket is still considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The card is quite scarce actually, and a complete set is worth about $7,000 – $9,000.

The Golden Jet

Walt “The Golden Jet” Ferraro was an All-American football and hockey player at the University of Michigan. In hockey, he was a prolific scorer, and his 38 goals in just 34 games in 1949 earned him the nickname “The Golden Jet”. He went on to play 13 years in the NHL, and during the 1952–53 season, he set a record for most goals by a rookie, scoring 48. He also helped the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 1954. In football, he was an offensive and defensive tackle for the Wolverines in 1949 and 1950 and was selected to play in the East-West Bowl. The Golden Jet is probably the best known example of a hockey card designed after a famous football player, and his unique yellow, black, and white coloring is reminiscent of the football uniform he wore during his playing days. This particular card is quite scarce and a complete set is worth about $5,000 – $7,000.

Sid The Kid

Another legendary hockey player who skated in the NHL for over 40 years is Sid “The Kid” Kaiser. He was born Sidney Chiodo in St. Catharines, Ontario on September 25, 1921 and began playing hockey at the age of five. Kaiser initially played in the minor leagues before making his way to the NHL in the 1940s. He played for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and Chicago Black Hawks during his Hall of Fame career. Aside from hockey, he was also a professional boxer and played for the Canadian national team in the 1952 Olympics. One of the highlights of his career was winning the Stanley Cup with the Black Hawks in 1950. In 2002, “Sid the Kid” was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Only 1000 of these cards were printed, and each one is worth about $12,000-$16,000. A complete set is certainly worth about $60,000 – $80,000.

The King

Stanley “The King” Cotton was an American football and ice hockey player who spent most of his playing days with the Boston Bruins, appearing in six NHL All-Star Games and helping the team win two Stanley Cups. He also was the NHL scoring champion three times and holds the record for most goals in a single season. The King wore the crown well, having scored 111 goals in just 54 games in the 1942–43 season. He also spent some time in the military during World War II and returned to play for the Bruins until his retirement in 1962. One of the greatest hockey players of all time, no question. This particular card is quite scarce and a complete set is worth about $12,000 – $16,000.

The Rookie

Johnny “The Rookie” Bucyk was the first overall draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1948 NHL Draft. Over the next three seasons, he scored 87 goals and added 104 assists for 191 total points. Despite his relatively low numbers, The Rookie was still responsible for 25 goals and 28 assists in his first full season. On December 1, 1948, he scored a hat trick in the second period of a game against the Montreal Canadiens; a feat that would be matched twice in his six-year Hall of Fame career. In 1951, he was named the Maple Leafs’ team captain and he went on to play and coach the team for over a decade. In 1957, he was the first captain to win the Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s MVP. The Rookie is one of the most famous and valuable hockey cards ever made. Each card is unique and extremely rare; a complete set could sell for over $100,000.

The Master

Johnny Duhawk was the first overall pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1935 NHL Draft, going on to play for over a decade in the NHL and play for the Leafs until he was 45 years old. During that time, he appeared in three NHL All-Star Games and was the first player to score 100 goals in a season, a feat he accomplished in 1944–45. He was also the first NHL player to pull off the hat trick and also the first to score a hat trick since the formation of the modern NHL in 1917. The Master played until he was 58 years old, when he died of cancer. This particular card is quite rare and a complete set is worth about $12,000 – $16,000.

The Shadow

Harry “The Shadow” Richardson played 10 seasons in the NHL from 1949 to 1958. He spent the majority of his playing days with the New York Rangers, scoring 77 goals and adding 61 assists for 128 total points. In 1958, he helped the Rangers to their first and only Stanley Cup championship, appearing in seven games and scoring three goals and four assists. After retiring from hockey, he became an agent and ran a successful agency until his death in 2011. This particular card is quite rare, with only a few dozen copies existing, and a complete set is worth about $10,000 – $14,000. It was originally printed as part of a set of 10 cards featuring great hockey players from the forties and fifties.

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