1991-92 Upper Deck card #76 – Jamie Matthews
Back during the “boom years” of hockey cards – that warm, fuzzy era from 1990 to about 1997 or so – many players appeared in NHL sets, but did not play in an NHL game. Sometimes, all you had to do was get drafted.
Former NHL prospect Jamie Matthews is one such player. Like several other prospects, Matthews has a card in the 1991-92 Upper Deck Hockey set. What makes Matthews so unique here is that in his career he was drafted by two different NHL teams, but didn’t play once for either of them.
In 1991, Matthews was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2nd round. That was seemingly high enough for Upper Deck to feature him on a trading card, which boasted great things about him:
A strong skater with a good slap shot and wrist shot, center Jamie Matthews was selected 44th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the ’91 Entry Draft. A two-year veteran of major junior hockey with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, Matthews is a talented two-way forward possessing great playmaking and offensive skills. He is a deft passer on both the forehand and backhand, stickhandles well, and has excellent anticipation and hockey sense. He adjusts quickly to changes in the flow of a game and works hard on every shift.
After getting drafted by the Blackhawks, Matthews spent another two seasons with his junior team in Sudbury. Although he put up some decent numbers – scoring 187 points in 129 games – he did not make the cut with Chicago. If a player does not get signed to a contract by the team that drafted them- even a minor league deal – then the player is eligible to re-enter the NHL Entry Draft. Matthews did so, and this time was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 11th round (262 overall) in 1993. However, he failed to make their team, and was sent back to Sudbury for a fifth and final season. Matthews still put up decent numbers, scoring 34 goals and 63 assists in 46 games, but did not make the jump to the NHL afterwards.
Overall, Matthews was drafted by two NHL teams, had one NHL card and played in zero NHL games.