For the past several years, the hobby of hockey card collecting has been held hostage by the Edmonton Oilers. Whether it was Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the greasy, yet talented, youngsters were always at the front of the pack. No longer. While the Oilers do still have Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz making waves in the chase for the latest and greatest rookies, there are several up-and-coming young stars playing for a soon-to-be former division rival in Minnesota that are ready to steal the spotlight away from Edmonton.
This has been a move a few years in the making. The past few rookie card classes have featured just one or two of Minnesota’s premiere prospects: Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella in 2010-11, Brett Bulmer in 2011-12 and Jason Zucker and Tyler Cuma in 2012-13. This season, Minnesota bursts down the doors of the hobby with superbly talented forwards Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle, 2013 NHL All-Rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin and likely future franchise netminder Darcy Kuemper.
This group itself is impressive enough, but a second wave of rookies may arrive during the season, including first round picks Matt Dumba and Zack Phillips, intriguing 7th rounders Tyler Graovac and Erik Haula and very talented Swedish goaltender Johan Gustafsson, who has established himself as one of the best young goalies outside North America.
The best part is that whether you’re a serious collector or just enjoy having cards of your favorite player or team, there’s a card for every price range and some are autographed, too. So go to your nearest card shop or look around on eBay, Wild fans; there’s a rookie card of your favorite Minnesota youngster just waiting for you to snatch it up.