Beckett Hockey




It’s not hard to root for Steven Stamkos. The top pick in the 2008 Draft has been one of the league’s top performers over his 14 NHL seasons, winning two Rocket Richard trophies, setting a series of franchise records, and winning a pair of Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning. But he’s also faced cruel twists of fate, with injuries carving chunks out of his career. Fortunatel­y, he’s back on top this season, earning his 900th point while returning to the top-five in league scoring. That’s why there’s never been a better time to collect Stamkos. But with so many different cards to pursue – more than 4,000 base, parallel, autograph, relic, and oddball singles in total – building out a Stammer collection can be overwhelmi­ng. Looking for a little guidance? These 10 cards serve as an excellent representa­tion of his playing career, making them the foundation of an enviable Stamkos PC.

2006-07 ITG Heroes and Prospects #80

Stamkos was already a household name across Canada by the time his first licensed card hit hobby shops. The young sniper was selected first overall by Sarnia in the 2006 Ontario Hockey League draft after scoring

197 points in just 66 games with the Markham Waxers. He dominated the OHL as a rookie, posting 42 goals and 92 points over 63 games with the Sting and setting the tone for his coming NHL draft season. This single from ITG, his first licensed card, drew immediate hobby attention, as did a sticker autograph insert from the same release.

2008-09 Upper Deck Young Guns #245

Stamkos was coming off a 58-goal season with the Sting, and while he wasn’t being painted as “the Michael Jordan of hockey” like Vincent Lecavalier – the team’s previous first-overall pick – had been by then-owner Art Williams, expectatio­ns were high for the prized prospect. After a slow start – it took him eight games to get his first point and nine for his first goal – Stamkos found his groove. He went on to set a franchise rookie record by scoring 23 goals and finished fifth in total points among all NHL first-year players with 46. This card remains his most popular and widely traded RC.

2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Premier Stitchings #PS-SS

Both the Lightning and the Los Angeles Kings finished the 2007-08 season with a league-low 71 points, but the Bolts earned the first choice by virtue of fewer wins (31-32). They used the pick to select Stamkos, who reveled in the honor. “My goal coming into this season was to get drafted as high as possible,” he said. “I accomplish­ed my goal.” The Kings settled for defenseman Drew Doughty, who went on to lead the team to two Stanley Cups. Fun to imagine how things might have turned out differentl­y for both teams if not for that tiebreaker.

2008-09 The Cup Property Of #PO-SS

It almost seems cruel to include a 1/1 in a list like this, but how could anyone not fall in love with this beauty? While his RC is the most hotly pursued single from this edition of The Cup, this is the one everyone wants. It offers a design that’s almost flawless in its simplicity, with every element highlighti­ng the oversized cut from a rookie season stick that features Stamkos’ name and the pound sign (which presumably preceded his famous 91). There’s something special about a card that features a stick relic rather than a jersey when it features one of the game’s greatest snipers. If you want one card to be the cornerston­e of your Stammer collection, this could be it.

2010-11 O-Pee-Chee Trophy Winners #TW-3

There would be no slow start to Stamkos’ sophomore campaign. He torched the league for 10 goals in his first 11 contests on his way to reaching the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career. The excitement didn’t end there. Trailing Sidney Crosby by one goal in the Rocket Richard race heading into the finale, Stamkos buried an empty netter in the last minute to seal a 3-1 win over the Panthers and claim a share of the coveted award. The two snipers are pictured together on this single and while it’s not the most valuable card on this list – it can be had for a few bucks – it perfectly captures one of the most dramatic finishes in the award’s history.

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