Beckett Hockey

1996-97 Black Diamond #160 Joe Thornton

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PSA Gem Mint 10: 6 (9%)

BGS Gem Mint 9.5: 6 (9%)

BGS Pristine 10: 1 (1%)

Should Florida make a deep run in the 2022 playoffs, they’ll pick up a massive bandwagon of fans along the way. A er all, everyone wants to see Jumbo win a Stanley Cup. Not that the top pick in the 1997 dra needs a championsh­ip to validate his career. But it sure would be fun to see.

Thornton has authored one of the most impressive careers in NHL history. The winner of the Art Ross and Hart trophies in 2006 also led the league in assists in three consecutiv­e seasons. As one of just three players to record back-to-back 90-assist campaigns (joining Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux), he built a reputation as one of the game’s greatest playmakers. He won four gold medals playing for Team Canada and was a first or secondteam All-Star four times at the deepest position, center.

Add in a personalit­y that’s won him fans around the league and it’s no surprise he’s earned a massive collector base. And with just three RCs, this Black Diamond is his most desirable by far ($200-$500 for raw copies). Raw is what most collectors will have to settle for as this ranks as one of the toughest cards on this list with just a dozen combined Gem Mint copies in circulatio­n. The foil substrate is the grade killer, with most submitted copies getting knocked down for chipped edges. At this point, it’s hard to believe there are many copies lurking out there waiting to enhance these totals.

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