Connor McDavid Rookie Card Countdown
The hype is real with Connor McDavid Rookie Cards. He burst into the NHL with lofty expectations that were further fuelled by comparisons to another member of the Edmonton Oilers, Wayne Gretzky. Others have had that label with varying results. Still, Connor McDavid seems different. It’s still early in his career but mentions of Gretzky and Sidney Crosby don’t seem too far-fetched. They might even be fair.
Upper Deck recognized this, signing McDavid to an exclusive deal. They proceeded to make him a focal point of a deep 2015-16 rookie crop. Even an extended injury didn’t derail things much as Connor McDavid Rookie Cards took on the same phenom status as the player.
What are the best and most valuable Connor McDavid Rookie Cards? We’ve ranked them all.
Most Valuable Connor McDavid Rookie Cards
Rankings for the following list are based prices in the Beckett Hockey Card Price Guide and Database. Only cards with the RC designation are included, not inserts and parallels.
20. 2015-16 Upper Deck Portfolio Connor McDavid RC #250
While not all Connor McDavid Rookie Cards have autographs or extremely low print runs, most have some sort of characteristic that takes them outside of a plain base card. This one’s the exception. It’s not a short print. It has no gimmicks other than being the cheapest of the superstar’s Rookies.
19. 2015-16 Upper Deck Overtime Connor McDavid RC #180
2015-16 Upper Deck Overtime wasn’t offered by regular means. That said, it was still widely available in hockey circles. Overtime packs were given to dealers as an order incentive with select distributors. Most then passed them on to their customers. The product was spread over three waves with McDavid closing out the base set checklist of the final wave.
Parallels: Autographs, Blue, Red (/99)
18. 2015-16 Upper Deck Champ’s Connor McDavid RC #315 SP
The 2015-16 Upper Deck Champ’s Connor McDavid Rookie Card brings an old-time feel with it, similar to Allen & Ginter in baseball. Part of the High Series Short Prints subset, it’s a moderately tough pull. The pool has 45 cards with one landing every five packs.
Parallels: Autographs, Gold Variant Back, Gold Variant Front, Silver (/25)
17. 2015-16 Upper Deck Trilogy Connor McDavid RC #101 /999
This foil-based card is one of many Connor McDavid Rookie Cards to come serial numbered. At 999 copies, it’s not exactly rare by today’s standards but it still makes it more appealing to some than it might otherwise be. Much of the attention Trilogy gets is for its autographs. As a result, it could be argued the base cards are a little overlooked.
Parallels: Rainbow Green (/599), Rainbow Blue (/399) ,Rainbow Black (/49)
16. 2015-16 Upper Deck Full Force Connor McDavid RC #101
2015-16 Upper Deck Full Force is a product that revels in bolder designs. While much of that is portrayed in the inserts, it’s also in the Rookie Cards. All are done with a 3-D effect using lenticular technology. It’s clear and quite sharp compared to old-school lenticular images from the 1980s and ’90s.
Rookies are also short prints in the product, falling one per box.
Parallels: Die Cuts
15. 2015-16 Artifacts Connor McDavid RC #205 /899
For those busting packs of 2015-16 Artifacts Hockey, if you were hoping for McDavid, you were looking for the Edmonton Oilers Rookie Redemption card. Because of the set’s early release, Upper Deck goes with mystery redemptions to work more rookie content into the product. Although numbered to 899 copies, redemptions don’t always result in all of those surfacing so it’s possible down the road that this one could be a little tougher to find than the print run suggests.
Parallels: Rookie Jersey Autographs, Jersey Patch Emerald (/199), Rookie Jersey Autographs Spectrum (/99), Rookie Jersey Emerald (/49)
14. 2015-16 Exquisite Collection Connor McDavid RC #R30 /299
2015-16 Exquisite Collection wasn’t released on its own. Rather, packs came with select high-end products including Black Diamond and The Cup. This particular Connor McDavid Rookie Card was released alongside 2015-16 Upper Deck Ice. Sticking with Exquisite’s history in all sports, the look emphasizes elegance. However, the print run and lack of autographs or patches (they’re available on other Exquisite inserts) keep the price of this one relatively in line.
Parallels: Gold Spectrum (/97), Black (1/1)
13. 2015-16 Upper Deck Connor McDavid RC #201
It may not be the most valuable Connor McDavid Rookie Card but his Young Guns release is probably his most collected. If you’re familiar with modern hockey cards, you know the drill. Flagship Upper Deck has been wildly popular with set collectors since its earliest days. When Young Guns became moderate short prints, they not only held their value but expanded their reach.
Knowing McDavid’s popularity would reach phenom status early on, it appears as though Upper Deck printed more of 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 than usual for the annual release. Supply and demand has ensured that this still didn’t matter too much as there are many who don’t normally collect hockey cards who chased the Connor McDavid Young Guns card down.
Parallels: Acetate, Foil, Exclusives (/100), High Gloss (/10), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
12. 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Connor McDavid RC #190 Autograph
If you want a Connor McDavid Rookie Card that’s signed, 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Platinum offers some of the best value. It might not be the most valuable but it does come with an on-card signature. Modeled largely after Topps Chrome, the card also has a lot of parallels that bring more colors and textures as well as rarities.
Parallels: Rainbow, Traxx (/125), White Ice (/99), Red Prism (/75), Black Ice (/50), Blue Cubes (/35), Seismic Gold (/25), Rainbow Purple (/15), Emerald Surge (/10), Golden Treasures (1/1)
11. 2015-16 Upper Deck Contours Connor McDavid RC #131 Auto Jersey /199
2015-16 Upper Deck Contours rests somewhere in the realm between the company’s flagship release and the more wildly inclinded Full Force. Even when designs in the product take a more subtle approach, something is often added to make it stand out. So when you hear about McDavid’s card in the set, you jump to a somewhat standard autographed jersey image. And it is, but the card is also die-cut.
Numbered to 199 copies it’s pretty rare. And with only one parallel, it isn’t watered down with so many different versions of essentially the same card. The signature comes on-card and the swatch is fairly large, which are also pros for the card.
Parallels: Rookie Patch Autographs (/15)
10. 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Connor McDavid RC #189 Auto Patch /299
Fleer Showcase has entrenched itself as Upper Deck’s modern retro hockey brand. While much of the content relies on updated versions of classic sets and inserts, Rookie Cards are more about the content. Sure, the name is a throwback, but it’s one that doesn’t have a lot of power from the past. Rather, it’s the fact that key players have both autographs and patches on their cards.
With a significantly higher print run than The Cup and UD Premier (at least when it comes to low numbered cards) and not quite the same premium levels (ie smaller patch, sticker autograph), this one’s a lot cheaper than McDavid’s comparable cards.
Parallels: Red Golw (/25), White Hot (/5)
9. 2015-16 SPx Connor McDavid RC #169 Auto Jersey /399
2015-16 SPx changed things up a bit. The design is still busy, one of the brand’s trademarks. But Upper Deck brought even more. For starters, rookies went from have one over-sized swatch to four smaller ones. Also, acetate was added as a design element for the player’s photo. It’s a look that will appeal to some and keep others away. Still, the brand has a lot of history so the somewhat higher print run compared to similar brands doesn’t matter quite so much.
Parallels: Red (/50), Green (/10)
8. 2015-16 SP Authentic Connor McDavid RC #226 Autograph /999
Speaking of print runs being less important than brand popularity, take a look at the 2015-16 SP Authentic Connor McDavid Rookie Card. Despite having one short of 1,000 copies, it’s one of his most valuable cards. Why? History. SP Authentic is kind of like the set builder’s product for the more high-end crowd. It’s similar in that regard to Contenders Football.
The Future Watch name carries a lot of clout with hockey card collectors. The tradition of on-card signatures certainly helps, too.
Parallels: Limited Patch Autographs (/100)
7. 2015-16 UD Black Connor McDavid RC #85 Autograph /199
Mixing elegance and a boldness, the 2015-16 UD Black Connor McDavid Rookie Card stands out automatically due to its dark design. Not only that, but the signature comes in silver adding further contrast. Some of the value for the card comes from the fact that UD Black wasn’t cheap to begin with. The brand is recognized as one of Upper Deck’s top, although not quite to the same level as The Cup.
Parallels: Gold Spectrum (/25)
6. 2015-16 Upper Deck Premier Connor McDavid RC #115 Auto Patch /199
Let’s be honest. With so many options of mixing autographs and patches on a Rookie Card, it can be hard to make something really stand out. UD Premier manages to do that in a way that’s somewhat subtle. Likely inspired by 2013-14 Panini National Treasures, the cards forego traditional card stock and go with acetate instead. The result is something different but not too different. The patch window on McDavid’s card is also quite large.
Parallels: Silver Spectrum (/35), Gold Spectrum (/10), Blue Spectrum (1/1)
5. 2015-16 Ultimate Collection Connor McDavid RC #109 Autograph /99
One of a handful of McDavid Rookies numbered to less than 100, the base version of Ultimate Collection also comes autographed. The print run and the signature are the main drivers behind the card’s high value. Although it has several parallels, not all of them are signed. In fact, the Silver Jersey card is one of those strange instances where the parallel is more plentiful than the original.
Parallels (* notes parallels that are NOT autographed): Silver Jersey* (/149), Spectrum Silver Jersey Autograph (/49), Gold Patch* (/25), Spectrum Gold Patch Autograph (/10), Platinum Blue Tag* (/5), Spectrum Teal Autograph Shield (1/1)
4. 2015-16 SP Game Used Connor McDavid RC #197 /97
For a couple of years, SP Game Used has been limiting Rookie Cards to the player’s jersey number. So even with the 97 on his back, this is the rarest Connor McDavid Rookie Card. That’s the big reason why it ranks so high when it comes to price point. The overall design doesn’t necessarily reflect the same sort of high-end design.
Parallels: Autographs Blue, Copper Jersey (/399), Spectrum Materials (/99), Autographs (1/1)
3. 2015-16 Black Diamond Connor McDavid RC #BDRCM /99
Of all the hockey brands to get an overhaul in 2015-16, Black Diamond was probably the biggest. It went from a mid-range product to a premium configuration. For Rookies, the brand name took on a more literal interpretation with the addition of actual diamonds to the cards. Combine that with a print run of 99 copies and you’re near the top of the Connor McDavid Rookie Card mountain.
Parallels: Gold Diamond (/5), Pure Black Diamond (1/1)
2. 2015-16 Upper Deck Ice Connor McDavid RC #200 /99
Card collecting can be funny sometimes. Usually we look to autographs to bring the biggest values. While they certainly enhance the Connor McDavid Rookie Card portfolio, it’s not the lone requirement. His Upper Deck Ice card is a massive exception. It has no signature, no relic and it’s not his rarest card (although it is only two copies off). What it does have is a brand history and an acetate design that’s distinct.
1. 2015-16 Upper Deck The Cup Connor McDavid RC #197 /99
And here it is, the big one, the most valuable one of all, the 2015-16 Upper Deck The Cup Connor McDavid Rookie Card. Autograph, patch, tiny print run, high-profile release, brand affinity — the card literally has it all. Even though it arrived on the late side, that didn’t stop it from arriving with plenty of hype and high price tags.
Part of the reason why people are chasing this card is the prestige. There are several other cards that come with similar features and print runs that go for a fraction of what the actual The Cup Connor McDavid goes for.
For those chasing the best Connor McDavid Rookie Card, the search ends here.