Upper Deck has signed a deal to be the exclusive home for Auston Matthews autographs on trading cards. Matthews, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, will also appear on packaging for future Upper Deck products. CAA Sports brokered the agreement on Matthews’ behalf.
The Arizona native quickly became one of the NHL’s hottest young stars after scoring 10 points in his first six NHL games. He was the first player in NHL history to score four goals in his first game, igniting an already intrigued audience of hockey card collectors.
The deal keeps autographs of one of the hottest young stars in the stable of the league’s licensed trading card maker.
“The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most popular NHL franchises in North America and Auston Matthews has already ignited tremendous excitement with that fan base,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck. “With the nucleus of young talent they are assembling in Toronto, adding Matthews to the roster is the start of something big for the Maple Leafs. Our team is thrilled to be able to deliver exclusive content of this top player and we are committed to delivering Maple Leafs fans the best in terms of licensed trading card content for Matthews.”
His first licensed NHL rookie card is available in the newly released 2016-17 NHL Upper Deck Series One. However, Upper Deck recently selected the photo to appear on his “Young Guns” rookie card for that set, utilizing imagery from his debut. They’ve been selling for $100-$150 since last week’s release. While Series One doesn’t have Matthews autographs, the new deal means collectors can likely expect a heavy dose in hockey card products throughout the rest of the season and beyond.
The deal with Upper Deck covers only the sports card market. Matthews, as of now, doesn’t have an exclusive memorabilia/autograph deal but at least one major retailer has devoted a page to him with numerous autographed photos, pucks and other items available for sale.