Connor Bedard Mania is Upon Us!

Is Bedard’s Young Guns the Most-Wanted Hockey Card Ever?

I’ve never seen anything like this.

In my 35+ years of collecting hockey cards, I have never seen so much hype over one brand-new hockey card.

I was collecting cards in 1990 when Eric Lindros was being called “The Next One,” and everyone was hoarding his 1990-91 Score rookie cards. 

I remember the hype over Sidney Crosby and how tough it was to find 2005-06 hockey cards that were not marked up to (then) ridiculous prices – because there might be a Crosby rookie card inside. 

More recently, I recall the anticipation for Connor McDavid’s Young Guns card, which was fetching $275 right out of the gate when 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 launched in November 2015.

But none of that matches the anticipation, the hype, the fervor, caused by Connor Bedard’s Young Guns rookie card – a card that technically comes out today with the launch of 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey, but has already found its way on eBay a few days ago.

(Why? Apparently, Walmart stores put blaster boxes of Series 2 on its shelves over the weekend, instead of waiting for the March 6 release date like everyone else.)

So, what’s different about the hype over Connor Bedard’s Young Guns rookie card, versus the rookie cards of Lindros, Crosby, and McDavid?

The MAIN difference is that the hype for Bedard’s Young Guns card has fully transcended hockey collectors and hockey fandom; everyone wants his card, regardless of whether they actually like hockey or not.

And this is taking place in the post-COVID world (though COVID isn’t gone), where more people are collecting today than 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. 

Now, the card that everyone has been asking for since the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Bedard first overall in June 2023 is finally an actual, tangible, real thing.

Here’s how the anticipation for Bedard’s Young Guns card has ramped up prices for Series 2:

      • A 12-pack hobby box of ’23-24 Series 2 is selling for $300. When the product was initially listed for presale, it was at $200, but it gradually crept up in price as Bedard continued to play very well.
      • As if that isn’t bad enough, some online retailers are selling 4-pack blaster boxes of Series 2 for $45 and 8-pack Collector’s Tins for $90. 
      • Bedard’s Young Guns card is already listed on eBay as a “pre-sale” item, with prices averaging $1,000. The few confirmed sales have also averaged around $1,000. 
      • The Blackhawks “spot” in a 12-box case break of Upper Deck Series 2 are selling for $1,000 as well. 
      • Dave & Adams Card World is offering a $1 MILLION DOLLAR bounty for the “Gold Outburst” parallel of Bedard’s Young Guns card, which is printed on gold foil and serial-numbered 1/1.
      • Also worth mentioning is how the demand for any Bedard rookie card has elevated the price of his O-Pee-Chee Marquee Rookies card to over $100 – a card that realistically should be in the $10-$20 range. 

Needless to say – but I’m gonna say it – is that a large part of what is fueling the fervor for Bedard’s Young Guns is…drum roll…INVESTMENT! 

Real shocker, I know. But if enough people want something, then people will want the thing that people want so that they can sell it to the people who want it. 

We have a generational talent who is playing for an Original Six franchise in the United States – in the third-largest media market in North America. 

It’s the perfect storm not only for Blackhawks fans to get excited about, or hockey fans to get excited about, but for everyone to get excited about.

And boy, are they excited.

Note: This article is an updated version of an editorial that originally appeared in Volume 2 – Issue 10 of the Puck Junk Newsletter. For stories like these, plus news and updates about hockey cards and collectibles, subscribe to the newsletter here.

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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

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