Having already secured a deal with Nolan Patrick, Leaf turned its attention to Nico Hischier and wrapped up a multi-year exclusive last week with the 18-year-old Swiss center, currently in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Patrick and Hischier are expected to go #1 and 2 in the draft, set for June 23-24.
“This deal will allow the company to exclusively market signatures of the future star for the forseeable future,” said Leaf President Brian Gray. “This is easily one of the most lucrative autograph trading card deals for any rookie in the history of the sport.”
The news means NHL trading card partner Upper Deck won’t have signed cards for the two of the top draft picks in its products, something that will rankle collectors who prefer league-licensed cards. Gray insisted he’d prefer card companies stay away from exclusives.
@DaveBoelman Totally understand. We actually told UD, if they wouldn’t sign any exclusives we wouldn’t either. Then, UD signed Matthews & Patrick Roy.
— Leaf Trading Cards (@Leaf_Cards) May 19, 2017
Hischier will be prominently featured in Leaf’s 2016-17 hockey releases including packaging, autograph and memorabilia cards. His first autographs were included in 2016-17 Leaf Metal Hockey. He’ll also appear in upcoming products, such as Heroes and Prospects, Invictus and Superlative.