Round one of the NHL draft begins Friday night and unless you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t follow hockey), you know it’s all but official that Connor McDavid will be selected first overall and Jack Eichel will be the second selection. McDavid already has a selection of cards available and many of them aren’t cheap. After Edmonton won the draft lottery, there was no way that McDavid cards were going to drop in price. Eichel’s likely selection by Buffalo means that there shouldn’t be much fluctuation once the players are drafted. Had Arizona or Carolina won that lottery, prices would likely be lower than they currently are. An Upper Deck Sepia four color patch auto sold on eBay less than a month ago for $1825.
Two recent Leaf/ITG releases include cards of some of the other top prospects. Likely third pick Dylan Strome is in both the 2014-15 Leaf ITG Heroes and Propects and 2014-15 ITG Leaf Metal Sets. Unfortunately, there’s not likely to be any big spike in Strome values if he is selected by the Coyotes. Mitch Marner is also likely to go in the first five picks and was included in both sets. If you go by this NHL Mock Draft, Marner projects to be selected by Carolina. That isn’t likely to raise card values any more than being selected by Arizona.
Where the draft element of the unknown could meet a sweet spot would seem to be the Toronto Maple Leafs’ selection at number four. If you collect hockey, you know that Toronto fans are a dedicated group in the hobby. The problem is that if Noah Hanifin is selected fourth, he has no cards. If he did, and you had something listed on your site of choice, there’s a chance it could be snatched up right after the selection. If Phoenix were to select Hanifin, sellers with Strome and Marner cards could be in luck.
I have been in that buyer position myself. Watching the 2012 NHL Draft, there was a lot of talk about a kid named Teuvo Teravainen that was a “top 5 talent,” but could fall a little further than that in the draft. I never thought that he would drop to my Blackhawks at 18, but eight of the first ten selections were defensemen and then he just seemed to keep falling. Once he was selected, I looked on eBay quickly to see if I can snag anything. However, he was an 18-year old European player, so there was nothing to be found. If there had been, I feel certain that sellers with his items would have been pleased that he was selected by Chicago.
While the things I’ve written lean toward prices not rising too much, keep something in mind. I have seen many times on message boards where people will state that they don’t want ITG products. Much like with football sets that picture players in their college uniforms, the bulk of fans want them in the pro uniforms. Once the Young Guns and other cards come out as these players make their NHL debuts, it’s likely that the demand for the bulk of these cards will be gone.
I’m not saying it’s “now or never” to unload your cards, but this may be the time to strike while the iron is hot. Ultimately, the decision is yours, though.
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Being a new collector I noticed that a lot of people stand by this making some of the ITG cards hard to find. I also find that finding the value of an ITG card to be difficult. There is no rhyme or reason to the pricing. But that is the thrill of the hunt!