The most famous member of the current Edmonton Oilers lineup is about to blow past an off-ice record he already holds for the most expensive modern hockey card.
A rookie trading card featuring Connor McDavid is up for auction and has already received a bid of over $70,000 USD (over $95,000 CAD).
The card that’s raking in that high price is a 2015-16 Upper Deck The Cup Connor McDavid Rookie Auto Patch card.
This is actually the third time a McDavid card will take the record: a previous rookie card from the same series featuring the player holds the current modern record. It sold for $55,655 USD in May 2018. Before that, another McDavid card had held the record following a sale in 2017.
Modern trading cards are considered to be any card printed after 1986.
The big pull for this high-priced card is its number. The card is numbered 97, which means it is 97 out of 100 total cards from this particular The Cup series.
“In the collecting world, there are a lot of people who want to own the player’s jersey number on that card,” said Wayne Wagner, owner of Wayne’s Sports Cards in Edmonton.
“There is a lot of excitement behind rookies, no question,” he said. “There’s always a big desire to own rookie cards and their patch autographs.”
The patch autograph means that a tiny piece of McDavid’s actual jersey is part of the thick-stock card. Wagner said the colour of the jersey patch also makes a big difference with driving up the value.
Jordan Gilroy, director of acquisitions at Lelands auctions, said that he believes this card is truly a rarity.
“For modern cards, there aren’t many Connor McDavid cards like this out there,” he said. “There are only 99 of these rookie patch autographs out there… they rarely show up in auctions.
“This is his true rookie patch autograph.”
Wagner said McDavid cards are selling for more and more because of the excitement and attention around the player from NHL fans all around the world.
“You’re talking about a significant player,” Wagner said.
“We’ve had our Gretzkys, we’ve had our Lindros’… Connor McDavid is the next one.”
Wagner said another card from the same series, although not 97, was previously found in a set sold at his shop.
The card that’s currently up for auction was found in late 2019 at as part of a “case breaking” by the group Jaspy’s, where multiple people can purchase a spot to receive a part of a case of cards to offset the initial investment.
The auction is set to close on Friday at 9 p.m. The current high bid is at $70,254 USD, although Gilroy said he believes that number could reach as high as $100,000 USD by Friday.