Hello friends and welcome to one of the most interesting times of the collecting year. Both the NBA and NHL have rolled out their playoff season, MLB is getting into the swing of things and the NFL is the NFL meaning there is no off-season (case in point how the schedule release Wednesday night probably got more viewers than when they announce the Academy Award nominees).
Since the Denver Nuggets missed the post season for the first time in a decade, cards shops in Colorado as well as anywhere else with interest in hockey are now banking on the soon to be crowned Calder Award Winner Nathan MacKinnon to keep playing like he did in the Avalanche’s first two games against the Wild.
How did he do in those first two games? He ONLY scored 7 points which tied him with two others for most points in their first two playoff games. Since neither of the other two was 18 years old, it makes his accomplishment even more special. Granted he and the Avalanche got shut out in Game 3 but we saw no slowdown in sales the day after.
It is not like MacKinnon came out of nowhere. His regular season stats warrant him being the number one pick. He played all 82 games, put in 24 goals and added another 39 assists and during one stretch he took Wayne Gretzky out of the record book when he scored a point in 13 straight games, beating Wayne’s record of 12 for an 18 year old.
How is the card market responding in Colorado? Well we had 14 MacKinnon cards when the playoffs began less than a week ago and now have 4. Since they dropped the puck on the postseason, I have sold out of 2013/14 releases like Fleer Showcase, Panini Playbook, Upper Deck 1, Upper Deck 2, Upper Deck Artifacts and Upper Deck Black Diamond as collectors hunt down his elusive rookie cards. Yesterday alone, I made commitments for over $5,000 in new hockey cases to have for this coming weekend.
His autograph is pretty much indistinguishable but single prices on eBay are nothing short of Crosbyesque. At the time of this writing, there are 11 cards with asking prices of $1,000 or more. If you add in the singles that are priced at $500 or more, that number inflates to 33 singles that would more than pay for any box they came out of.
Checking out COMC, he has a grant total of ten cards available and even his Upper Deck MVP is being offered for $29.75 with a Panini Playbook autographed rookie jersey booklet card yours for a mere $276.
Looking ahead, wouldn’t it be nice for Nathan to still be putting up points at this pace when SP Authentic and Panini Rookie Anthology hit in late May and Contenders hits 6/4? I can handle the Stanley Cup glow when Ultimate hits in June as well as when National Treasures and The Cup hit down the road.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.