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He's a real card: Collectable Jet's rookie card earns P1 pricing

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/2/2017 (728 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The price tag on Winnipeg Jet Patrik Laine's rookie card is soaring faster than the prized goal scorer's laser beam shot.

Winnipeg sports card shops are reporting Laine's rookie card has sold for as much as $265 since its release last week.

It didn't hurt that Laine scored a hat trick -- three goals in a single game -- the day before the release. You can't beat that kind of self-promotion, said card shop owners.

"New people are coming into the store. Former collectors are getting back into the hobby. It's just phenomenal," said Mike Bergmann, of Lower Level Sports Cards on Henderson Highway, which just had its busiest weekend since opening five years ago.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/2/2017 (728 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The price tag on Winnipeg Jet Patrik Laine's rookie card is soaring faster than the prized goal scorer's laser beam shot.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>The newly released Patrik Laine Young Guns rookie hockey card.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The newly released Patrik Laine Young Guns rookie hockey card.

Winnipeg sports card shops are reporting Laine's rookie card has sold for as much as $265 since its release last week.

It didn't hurt that Laine scored a hat trick — three goals in a single game — the day before the release. You can't beat that kind of self-promotion, said card shop owners.

"New people are coming into the store. Former collectors are getting back into the hobby. It's just phenomenal," said Mike Bergmann, of Lower Level Sports Cards on Henderson Highway, which just had its busiest weekend since opening five years ago.

Some hobby shops are already sold out of Series II hobby boxes, and distributors have increased prices by 40 per cent for additional stock sold to stores, he said.

Bergmann has been staying open past normal closing time to accommodate the customers. "On Friday, I didn't eat my lunch until 5 o'clock," he said.

Fans have been jamming into local card shops in hopes they'll land Laine's rookie edition in a pack of Upper Deck Series II hockey cards. Rookie cards typically have the most value in a player's career.

"The excitement for Laine is crazy," said Kyle Franklin, of Superstars Sports Collectibles on Portage Avenue.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Some hobby shops are already sold out of Series II hobby boxes, and distributors have increased prices by 40 per cent for additional stock sold to stores.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Some hobby shops are already sold out of Series II hobby boxes, and distributors have increased prices by 40 per cent for additional stock sold to stores.

Card market hottest in Winnipeg and Toronto

The hockey card market is perhaps hottest in Winnipeg and Toronto, where the hockey teams have been loading up on young potential stars.

The Jets have a slew of great-looking rookies available in Upper Deck cards this year, including defenceman Josh Morrissey and forward Kyle Connor in Series I, and Chase De Leo, Brandon Tanev and Laine in Series II. As well, Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers are young stars on the rise.

"It's a great year for hockey cards in this city," Franklin said.

Great demand is a nice problem to have for sports card shop owners. The hockey card market hasn't been exactly booming in recent years, partly due to the lack of new generational stars, and partly because defensive hockey had taken over the game. The last big surge in hockey card interest was 2005-06 when superstars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the league together.

Then along came superstar Connor McDavid with the Edmonton Oilers last year. His rookie card is going for $250, and climbing. This year it's Laine, and Toronto Maple Leaf rookies Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

"I don't know where the card industry would be if you took out McDavid, Matthews and Laine," said Bergmann.

The dilemma for people wanting a Laine rookie card is do they buy packs and hope to land the budding superstar, or do they just lay down the money to buy the Laine card off someone else?

There's more fun to buying packs and ripping them open. Statistically, however, a person might have to open almost nine boxes at $100 each to find Laine's card. There are 24 packs, with eight cards each, per box. There are guaranteed to be six Young Guns rookie cards per box, out of 50 rookies in Series II.

The price tag on Laine's card is all over the map right now because it's only just been released. Card shop owners expect the price will settle somewhere between $150 - $200.

NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES</p><p>The NHL top three draft picks (from left) Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pierre-Luc Dubois, of the Columbus Blue Jackets, pose for a photo at the NHL draft in Buffalo, N.Y. on Friday June 24, 2016.</p></p>

NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

The NHL top three draft picks (from left) Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pierre-Luc Dubois, of the Columbus Blue Jackets, pose for a photo at the NHL draft in Buffalo, N.Y. on Friday June 24, 2016.

Laine vs. Matthews: whose card is more valuable?

How does Laine stack up next to the card of the other vaunted rookie, Auston Matthews, of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Matthews was NHL's first pick in last summer's entry level draft, while Laine was chosen No. 2. The two rookie sensations played against each other in Toronto on Tuesday night. Laine scored two goals while Matthews had three assists.

The rookie card for Matthews has been around longer, released in November as part of Upper Deck's Series I. Bergmann said he heard a Matthews card sell for as much as $400 when it first hit the market, but is now down to about $200.

Matthews plays in the bigger hockey-mad city and Canadian media centre of Toronto. Winnipeg is the NHL's smallest market.

The card for Mitch Marner, another Leaf rookie, is selling in the $150-$200 range.

"The guys who can score really drive the card market," Bergmann said.

Of course, it also helps that Winnipeg has an NHL team again, and one with a great-looking future.

Has it ever been so busy for some sports card shops?

"I've been around 27 years," said Mike Gogal, of Sports Card Connection on Ste. Anne's Road. "I can honestly say no. Everyone's been waiting for Laine's card to come out."

 

 

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Bill Redekop

Bill Redekop
Rural Reporter

Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues since 2001.

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