The biggest free agent signing in the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs left some New York Islanders fans disappointed but sets up a potentially hot market for one of the NHL’s top players. John Tavares rookie cards have always been in some demand, but moving to the spotlight of the hockey capital of the world should have the market on notice.
Can’t Miss Kid
The Canadian born captain of the Islanders was a childhood prodigy. Originally from Mississauga, Ontario, Tavares was born in 1990. He was so good at hockey he was granted Exceptional status and allowed to play in the Ontario Hockey League despite being just 14 years old. He would eventually break a Wayne Gretzky scoring record with 72 goals and 62 assists as a 16-year-old.
A standout at every level, Tavares was the first overall pick of the 2009 draft and made an immediate impact with the Islanders,finishing second in scoring. His amazing 2014-15 campaign with the Islanders included 86 total points, tallying 38 goals while adding 48 assists. While fans and collectors have associated him with Islander colors, his seven year, $77 million free agent contract with the Maple Leafs will put him in a different NHL uniform on hockey cards printed from here on out.
Not everyday you can live a childhood dream pic.twitter.com/YUTKdfMALl
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) July 1, 2018
Most Popular John Tavares Rookie Cards
Tavares rookie cards appear in 2009-10 products. Like most players, his Upper Deck Young Guns issue is among the most heavily traded. Ungraded versions remain within the reach of even the most budget-oriented collectors with higher end examples creeping into three figures.
Tavares’ most expensive rookies are those in the 2009-10 Upper Deck The Cup. The most popular card–an autographed patch numbered to 99 usually land somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on the grade and the look of the card. Upper Deck’s premier high-end issue has usually held up well and you can typically find Tavares cards from this annual release (he’s featured on several different ones) for sale on eBay.
Another issue numbered to 99 that usually draws interest is from Upper Deck Ultimate.
SPx jersey autos are numbered to 499, carry a sticker autograph and are usually found for under $90.
Among the best, most economical options for collectors who prefer signed rookie cards is the SP Authentic issue from Upper Deck. It’s numbered to 999– a little higher print run than the others but a nice design with a great photo and an autograph makes it an attractive option for the price.
Of course, you’ll pay more for lower print run parallel versions but only two Tavares rookie cards have sold for more than $3,000 on eBay in the last nine years.
Upper Deck trotted out a few low-cost products during Tavares’ rookie season, too, and many of the base cards can be had for just a couple of dollars.
You can check out all of the ‘most watched’ Tavares cards via the live list below.