The Kids Are Alright
ADAM FOX ISN’T THE ONLY BLUESHIRT DESERVING OF YOUR ATTENTION. ED MCGROGAN OFFERS HIS PICKS FOR THE MUST-HAVE COLLECTIBLES OF THE TEAM’S EXCITING YOUNG CORE.
Alexis Lafreniere, age 19 2020-21 SP Authentic Future Watch Auto Patch #TBA
After a slow start on the ice, Lafreniere’s Young Guns RC still seems undervalued (and su ers from condition issues – shop carefully for a sharp copy). But like most of his RCs, the picture isn’t from a game; it’s from a photo shoot. By the time SP Authentic drops, you’ll see Alexis in his No. 13 jersey, and while this autographed patch card won’t come cheap, it will be more accessible than his forthcoming monster RPA from The Cup.
Kaapo Kakko, age 20 2019-20 The Cup #151
Speaking of slow starts, the second pick in 2019 has scored just 40 points in 114 games over two seasons. But Kakko’s talent is obvious, and he’s the best buy-low candidate on this list. Target his biggest issue from The Cup, while it is still relatively a ordable. It doesn’t come autographed, thanks to his deal with Panini, but it is extremely scarce and has that pedigree.
K’Andre Miller, age 21 2020-21 Upper Deck Young Guns #469
As a young, scoring defenseman, Miller is the best comparable to Fox. He played heavy minutes for New York in 2020-21, and his role should only increase. One of the few African-American players in the NHL, Miller has a big potential audience, and this staple RC could follow Fox’s YG trajectory if he breaks out.
Vitali Kravtsov, age 21 2020-21 Artifacts Emerald #RED218
Like Kakko, Kravtsov’s exclusive with Panini means he’s not autographing any Upper Deck cards. So that means his Artifacts cards are likely to be his only redemptions – and you know some of those won’t be redeemed, ensuring a smaller print run than advertised. His true RC from the set is #/999, but the Emerald parallel is limited to just 99 copies, making it a must-own.
Igor Shesterkin, age 25 2019-20 Upper Deck Young Guns Canvas #C214
Canvas Young Guns may have become a favorite of collectors, with their values reflecting the trend. Fox’s was selling close to his actual YG (the stunning photo – a calling card of the Canvas sets – may have helped), and Shesterkin’s could do the same. It’s also his very first card, having been released before his Young Guns was o ered in late-season packs of SP Authentic.