If you spent the 2013-14 hockey card season looking for autographed versions of Nikita Kucherov rookie cards, you had a long wait. Unlike most major NHL stars today, the right wing standout for the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t have one, unless you consider autographed buy backs issued in packs two years later.
Kucherov’s career has been electric. He has established himself as one of the top point producers in league play early on during his career. He has the skills and consistency to be one of the best of all time. Kucherov is now mentioned as one of the best in the game.
Not An NHL Draft Darling
Unlike some of his standout fellow All-Stars, the Russian wasn’t an especially high draft pick. Kucherov was the 58th overall selection(2nd round) for Tampa Bay during the 2011 NHL draft. He scored in his NHL debut, only the seventh Lightning player to accomplish that feat.
The 2014-15 season was a breakout campaign. Interest among collectors picked up considerably after he tallied 65 total points, scoring 29 times and dishing out 36 assists. He compiled 40 goals and 45 assists in 2016-17 and trailed only Connor McDavid as the 2017-18 season was coming to a close, with his first 100-point season in reach. Kucherov has been amazingly consistent during his early years with Tampa Bay.
Born June 17, 1993, in Maykop, Russia, Kucherov has way more to give to the NHL. He isn’t even close to his prime and is considered as one of the absolute best at his position. He’s one of those scorers that goaltenders seem to fear most.
Nikita Kucherov Rookie Cards
Like many current NHL stars, his 2013-14 Upper Deck Young Guns is highly sought after. Easily the most traded cards on eBay and in online collecting groups, the standard issue card is well within reach of most collectors. High-Gloss (# to 10), Exclusives (# to 100) and Acetate versions are favored by those who prefer more limited editions.
While Kucherov and Upper Deck never got together for autographs before the YG release, his popularity directed the company to include him in their 2015-16 Young Guns buyback set with signed versions of the original distributed inside packs of cards during his third season. Those are among the priciest cards from his career and numbered to his jersey number, 86. There’s also a Gold version numbered to 25. Upper Deck’s Fleer Showcase Skybox is another issue to keep an eye on.
Panini still had an NHL license during Kucherov’s rookie season and his Panini Titanium (# to 58) is another popular issue–and reasonably priced. Low serial-numbered cards from the company’s Prizm and Totally Certified issues should also be on your radar.
Keep in mind, too, that Kucherov also appears on QJMHL and KHL cards produced during his time with those leagues as a youngster. However, it’s those 2013-14 issues that North American collectors generally prefer.
For the long-term, it’s usually a good idea to focus on popular issues and/or those with low-serial numbers that also offer a popular design…and at least with this NHL star, you don’t have to worry much about autographs.
You can see the 86 most watched Nikita Kucherov rookie cards on eBay via the live list below.