Today is Hockey Day in Canada, and while the Winnipeg Jets will be battling on the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins, their biggest name – Mark Scheifele will be hotly pursued in trading card stores across the country.
As has become tradition, the Upper Deck Company has created a special commemorative card series that features the biggest names in hockey’s past, present and future, in an off-shoot brand called “National Hockey Card Day”. Thousands upon thousands of packages containing these cards, which includes legends such as Wayne Gretzky and current heroes like Jonathan Toews will be given out at hobby shops for free.
The 16-card, Canadian-born set, is always a good indicator of who are the hot names in the hobby, especially for the coveted rookies; and right next to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Cody Hodgson will be the Jets future star Mark Scheifele.
Scheifele’s presence in the series is just another example of his hobby stardom, a light that shines brighter than current roster leaders Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. While this can be partly attributed to the hobby’s ever-present escalated demand for rookies, his performance during the NHL’s pre-season, where he was a dominant name in scoring.
Seeing this potential, the hobby has forgiven Scheifele for stumbling out of the gates to start his NHL career and have anointed him as a ‘must-have’ name. Already, young Scheifele has 26 trading cards to his name and has been included in virtually every set to hit stores this year.
All this before Scheifele truly gets his NHL career started. Just wait to see what happens when he skates with the Jets on a regular basis.
Jon Waldman has written about hockey for several publications over his decade-long journalism career, including The Hockey News, The Toronto Sun and Winnipeg Men Magazine. A graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism program, Jon is working on his first book on the history of hockey, to go along with two other books he has published since 2009.