Nathan MacKinnon already a star with hockey collectors

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

You may not realize Nathan MacKinnon was 18 years old by watching him play hockey.

He moves across the ice with the presence of someone who has played on this level for years. He sees the ice well, finding intricate ways to get the puck on his teammates’ sticks. MacKinnon can score too.

In two games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche rookie already has seven points, tying the record for the most points in the first two playoff games of a career. MacKinnon had three assists in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild, and a goal and three assists in Game 2. Game 3 is tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

MacKinnon is the frontrunner for The Calder Cup, given to the best NHL rookie every year. During the regular season, he led all rookies with 63 points (24 goals, 39 assists).

When it comes to hockey cards, MacKinnon is already a star. Collectors scrambled to get his Rookie Cards the moment they appeared in sets starting with 2013-14 Select and 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1. Since then, he’s easily been the most collectible rookie out of the Double Rookie Class.

Print defect on Nathan MacKinnon Upper Deck Series 1 Young Guns card.

A handful full of rare cards have sold for more than $1,000 on the secondary market this season, but even his cheapest autograph will run collectors more than $100.

A unique situation occurred with this Upper Deck Young Guns Rookie Card where a number of cards had a printing defect. On MacKinnon’s right arm, an area of red is lighter than the rest of the Colorado jersey, which hurts the condition of the card from third-party graders. But the defect caused a premium for cards without the mark, allowing BGS 9.5 (or better) and PSA 10 cards to sell for more than $125 on the secondary market.

For those looking to get MacKinnon autographs at a lower price, they should look at In The Game cards where MacKinnon signed for ITG while in junior hockey. These aren’t Avalanche cards, but the equivalent of prospect cards in baseball.

Notable Nathan MacKinnon cards
2011-12 Heroes and Prospects Autographs #ANM
2012-13 ITG Draft Prospects Autographs
2013-14 Dominion #201 /99 AU
2013-14 Panini Titanium #233 /29
2013-14 Select #301 /399
2013-14 SP Game Used #152 /29
2013-14 SP Game Used Draft Day Marks
2013-14 Upper Deck ICE #123 /99 AU
2013-14 Upper Deck Young Guns #238
2013-14 Upper Deck Young Guns Acetate #238
2013-14 Upper Deck Trilogy #201 AU

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor at Beckett Media. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Richard 21 April, 2014 at 17:57

    Why isn’t the coloring just a variant?
    There is a long history of cards where a little more/less ink changed the appearance or even the
    verbage of the card, but it was not considered a “condition” issue.

  2. Jersey 21 April, 2014 at 23:13

    It looks like the photographer was taking a photo through the glass. The glass reflects the arena lights/ads. There was likely a bright red logo / message reflecting off the glass on that spot. If it was a genuine printing issue it would have more likely been sporadic on some cards.

    I just started taking photographs & get all sorts of weird things reflecting off of stuff that produces similar effects.

    Check out all the crap reflecting off of Jagr’s visor. My dad didn’t seem bothered by all the lights on the front of his visor, but was more concerned about the way the visor’s reflection made part of his face look a different color [From right under his eye to the edges of his visor. That’s what it looked like in person, so the photo just cause the glare Between the dirty scratchy glass [and random people banging on it] & the player’s visors like that & constantly moving — there’s always a lot of glare / light reflections.

    I don’t worry about it too much except with the goalie masks. I’ll often repaint by hand[on the computer] over the light reflections so the mask looks better. Example:
    I painted over all the light reflections.

    Regardless it’s either an annoying reflection or something maybe with the coloring / lighting that was done after the photo was taken & the printed just printed what it was told. If it was a low ink or printer-type issue, the problem would be more sporadic because it would keep losing more & more ink in that same spot giving off a variety of colors.

    If you’re interested in identifying significant card errors, I can name a few cards you could do a round of “how many things are wrong with the picture on this card” I found a few honkers of errors which either no one seems to know about or [having sent the information to the manufacturer] someone doesn’t want anyone to know about.

    • Susan Lulgjuraj 22 April, 2014 at 07:27

      Why do you think the mark showed up on some Young Guns and not others? Just curious what you think of that.

  3. Jersey 21 April, 2014 at 23:25

    PS: You forgot to include the most awesome of all MacKinnon cards — Panini Playbook. I’ve gotten 2 different fold-out MacKinnons so far — They’re awesome Huge Shadowbox with background & foreground images. Two large jersey swatches. Autographs on clear acrylic ‘shadowbox style windows’ fit in with the jersey swatches. One swatch is the Av Purple & the other is their Accent Blue with two different textures [You’d think a woman arranged the inside of the Shadowbox or something. I got two different ones from the Playbook. Two actually different ones. Not like parallels in different colors or something, but they look different inside the shadow boxes. I can send pics if you haven’t seen them yet.

    Pierre McGuire hasn’t shut the F up about MacKinnon — he throws something in there every time he mentions Crosby during the Pens-Columbus game. “Nathan MacKinnon is also from Col Harbor, Nova Scotia” “I saw Sid Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon running sand dunes together” [not really sure what it means they were doing, but Pierre found it to be quite exciting. During the ‘Live Look-IN’, Pierre can’t stop talking about how “He’s never seen an 18 make hockey plays like that since Sid Crosby” “Did you know Nathan MacKinnon Works out with Sid Crosby during the offseason”… Pierre just goes on & on about him. My mom wanted me to sell the two playbook cards on ebay, & get some of the money back for the case but I want to hold onto them & see how far he goes in the playoffs.

  4. Scott 23 April, 2014 at 11:32

    I think the reason that the Young Guns BGS cards have gone so high is not really related to the printing error, but to the quality issue with the series 1 cards. The vast majority of them have micro-cracking on the back of the cards, resulting in lower grades (or ungradable cards). I have seen some come back as low as a 6 because of this issue. I have had far more young guns come back this year below a 9.5 than have come back 9.5 or 10 because I missed a few cracks on the backs of the cards before sending them in. It has made it very difficult to complete a set of BGS 9.5 young guns this year (although I am only 2 cards away at the moment).

  5. Daniel Dupont 5 April, 2018 at 10:02

    I am looking for a official list of his rookie card like the one I saw for auston Williams done by Beckett
    because I only collect true rookie
    and now a day it so confusing to figure it out witch one is really a rookie when everybody lies about it
    I follow Beckett strick version

    Thanks Daniel

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