Leaf Trading Cards signs exclusive deal with NHL prospect Nico Hischier

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Another salvo has been fired by Leaf Trading Cards as the company has just announced an exclusive multi-year autographed trading card pact with prospect Nico Hischier, who is regarded as the potential second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

The Halifax Mooseheads star had a phenomenal 2016-17 season as he led all QMJHL rookie performers in goals (38), assists (48), and points. He captained a side at the 2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was named his league’s Rookie of the Year and Best Professional Prospect.

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“Working with Nico, along with Allain and Jordan from RSG Hockey has been an exciting and rewarding process,” said Leaf CEO Brian Gray in a press release. “To see an agency thinking outside the box and aggressively marketing their athletes is refreshing in a traditional sport like hockey. Nico is now part of that new movement in the hockey world.”

This deal will certainly have an impact on future NHL and NHLPA-licensed products from Upper Deck as Hischier’s autographs will not be part of them until his contract with Leaf expires.

Where this deal also becomes interesting is due to the fact that Leaf will not be producing trading cards licensed by the Canadian Hockey League next season. The company has existing exclusive deals with young players like Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel, potential first overall pick Nolan Patrick, and top 2018 prospect Joe Veleno.

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While terms of the deal were not released, Gray offered some additional personal thoughts in the press release.

“We are excited that we could reward Nico’s once in a generation talent with this near record setting deal! This deal will allow the company to exclusively market signatures of the future star for the foreseeable future. This gives Leaf the top two players entering the 2017 NHL Draft with Nolan Patrick already added to our stable of exclusive athletes!”

Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Hockey, Beckett Basketball, and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at slaroche@beckett.com or follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.

5 Comments

  1. David Hollingsworth
    Posted Friday May 19th, 2017 at 06:17 PM | Permalink

    So the top 2 prospects for this years draft and maybe next years rc class are not going to be available in UD products. So why buy them then????????

  2. Dwayne Hirtle
    Posted Saturday May 20th, 2017 at 06:45 AM | Permalink

    The NHL should disallow exclusive signings. This ruins the hobby card market and sets.

  3. Posted Thursday May 25th, 2017 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    Leaf is garbage quality, terrible dated designs, boring sets and worthless “1 of 1s” .
    I made the mistake of buying a box of H&P a few years ago, what a joke.
    This won’t make me buy their cards either.

  4. Philippe
    Posted Sunday May 28th, 2017 at 01:15 AM | Permalink

    This is a situation where the customer is the biggest looser. We are forced to buy only expensive UD products if we want licensed hockey cards, and now we are forced to buy unattractive design Leaf products if we want a chance at autograph rookie cards of the best prospect in hockey… the real problem here is the NHL themselves that are only thinking profits $$ and forget that this is an hobby that greatly help promote their sport. Hockey cards are the reason I became the hockey fan I am today when I was young. These business tactics of signing exclusive deals are hurting the consumers which is the only think they should be worrying about if they were a serious business. That’s basic stuff you learn when you do business studies….

  5. Jonathan
    Posted Sunday May 28th, 2017 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    I’m glad there’s still more than one company out there, but these exclusive contracts are getting annoying to collectors while lining the pockets of the kids on the cards. I would probably do the same thing as a kid, but it’s not fun to be us now.

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