Rookie Cards of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Inductees

Yesterday, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced its inductees for 2019. The Hall will honor six new members: Sergei Zubov, Guy Carboneau and Vaclav Nedomansky will be inducted in the players’ category. Haley Wickenheiser is the latest woman to be enshrined. NCAA coach Jerry York and longtime NHL GM Jim Rutherford join the Hall as builders. Except for York, all of these Hall of Fame inductees have had hockey cards issued during their career. Here is a look at each of their rookie cards, their pre-rookie cards (yes, there is such a thing), and the values for each one. 

Sergei Zubov (Defense) 

Rookie Cards: 1992-93 Fleer Ultra #359 (pictured), 1992-93 Parkhurst #351 and 1992-93 Upper Deck #516. 

Pre-Rookie Card: 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee – Sharks & Russians Inserts #28R

Value: Zubov’s rookie cards are all easy to find, as they came out during the height of hockey’s “Junk Wax Era.” The pre-rookie card might be an interesting alternative, as it is only slightly harder to find than his RCs from 1992-93, but that isn’t saying much. These shouldn’t run you more than 50¢ to $1.00 each. 

Guy Carboneau (Center)

Rookie Card: 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee #185

Pre-Rookie Card: 1982-83 Steinberg Montreal Canadiens #2

Value: Carboneau’s rookie card is not hard to find. O-Pee-Chee printed tons of cards in 1982-83 and 1983-84, the two years that Topps did not produce a hockey set. Today, his rookie card sells for about $5. Carboneau’s team-issued pre-RC sells for anywhere from $1 to $5, depending on if the tear-away coupon is still attached at the bottom. 

Vaclav Nedomansky (Center)

1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA #49 Vaclav Nedomansky

Rookie Card: 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee – WHA #49

Pre-Rookie Card: Nedomansky had numerous cards issued in Europe before he defected and played in the World Hockey Association. Pictured here is his card from the 1970-71 Swedish Cumulus Mastarserien World Championship set. 

Value: Nedomansky’s RC is in the 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee World Hockey Association Set, which is harder-to-find than most cards from the 1970s, but still mainstream enough that you can get it in the $5 to $10 range. It’s tough to put a price on his European “pre-RC” issues, as they do not show up frequently for sale, but again $5 to $10 seems to be the going rate. 

Hayley Wickenheiser (Forward)

Rookie Card: 1997-98 Collector’s Choice #279

Pre-Rookie Card: 1994 Classic Women of Hockey #W13

Value: The 1997-98 Upper Deck Collectors Choice set was heavily produced, and sold at the collector-friendly price point of $1 per pack. Today, Wickenheiser’s rookie card might cost you $1, because there are tons of them out there. Here pre-rookie card, which was in the Women of Hockey insert set found in 1994 Classic Hockey, is a little harder to find, and might cost you $2 these days, given that she is now in the Hall of Fame. 

Jim Rutherford (Builder)

1972-73 O-Pee-Chee #15 Jim Rutherford

Rookie Cards: 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee #15 (pictured) and 1972-73 Topps #97.

Pre-Rookie Card: 1970-71 Esso Power Players #127

Value: Rutherford’s O-Pee-Chee rookie card might run you $3 to $5, while his Topps RC is sold for around $2 to $3. His Esso Power Player sticker, which was short-printed, will also run you about $3. 

Jerry York (Builder)

Rookie Card: Jerry York has never had his own trading card issued during his 47-year coaching career, but sometimes you can find his business card — signed or unsigned — for sale on Ebay. 

Pre-Rookie Card: 2003-04 Boston College Eagles Team Photo card. This card was part of a strip of seven cards that were perforated. York is all the way to the left. (Thanks to DFG for the heads-up on this.) 

Value: York’s business card is currently selling for between $15 to $20, while the BC card is a couple of bucks. 

Do you presently have any of these cards? Do you plan on buying any of them now that these players are in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Leave a comment and let me know. ■

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

5 thoughts on “Rookie Cards of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Inductees”

  1. I have all of the OPC cards but my favorite is the Esso Rutherford. You only got a few action shots in those days and, boy that sticker delivers; and that red mask, at a time when colored masks were not common (Gary Smith yellow and Rutherford’s Pittsburg blue come to mind).

    1. Haha, that’s awesome. I didn’t know BC had made any cards. Kind of a stretch, yes, but still very cool.

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