Boom In Hockey Card Collecting Coincides With New Jersey Devils Star Power

As we celebrate National Hockey Card Day 2024, Pucks and Pitchforks talked with Upper Deck on the importance of star power in card collecting. The New Jersey Devils know the marketing power of stars.
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Sports Memoribilia Show / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils today look a lot different than the team that Lou Lamoriello built to win three Stanley Cups. It's just the way the NHL is in 2024. Sure, there were stars in the 80s and 90s. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Mario Lemieux dominated the league. Even the Devils had stars like Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, and Martin Brodeur for the length of their championship window.

Cards were pretty big back in the late 80s and early 90s. They were so big that companies would print millions of cards to meet demand. The Martin Brodeur rookie card is still very desirable for Devils fans, but it doesn't compare to what people are asking for today. A quick search shows one New Jersey Devils player going for more than any player in history: Jack Hughes.

That same search will show Hughes cards can go for as much as $20,000. That is where the hobby is today. During the pandemic, all collectibles saw their value go through the roof, but sports cards went especially insane. Pucks and Pitchforks had a chance to speak with Upper Deck's Senior Marketing Manager Paul Nguyen about the state of the industry now and where the NHL, and specifically the Devils, fall into the hype.

One way for hockey fans to see the hype is through campaigns like National Hockey Card Day, which falls today, April 13th. It showcases some of the great hobby shops around the country (countries if you also look at Canada).

""There has certainly been a fantastic uptick in hobby shop engagement as younger generations enter the space and many former collectors find that passion again. ""

Paul Nguyen, UD Senior Marketing Manager

We know the popularity of football and basketball cards has surpassed baseball as the leader in sports, but where does hockey fall in all this? We have stars everywhere, and rookie cards every year have some great stars, especially as of late. Players like Connor Bedard and Luke Hughes make collecting rookie cards in 2024 essential for the collection.

""The interest in hockey cards right now is greater than most of us have ever experienced and there is no doubt that the addition of some of these young superstars is part of that. The fan engagement around 2023-24 Upper Deck Hockey Series 2 has been incredible.""

Paul Nguyen, UD Senior Marketing Manager

Not only are the Devils adding stars like Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, and Timo Meier to give them worldwide marketability, but the fact they have two young studs in the Hughes brothers on the roster has drawn the eyes of fairweather fans.

""Like many top prospects in the league, all of the Hughes brothers’ Young Guns rookie cards are highly sought after in their respective sets. We’re thrilled to have Luke included in our 2024 National Hockey Card Day set as part of the ‘Prominent Rookies’ that fans can chase down from shop to shop. As Luke, Jake, and also Quinn’s careers progress and they cement themselves as superstars, we expect that interest to continue growing, not just with Devils fans but hockey fans as a whole.""

Paul Nguyen, UD Senior Marketing Manager

Remember there is still time to join your local hobby shop for National Hockey Card Day and check out a list of the Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealers here!