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Just because a player is the number one draft pick, doesn’t mean they will perform like a superstar right out of the gate. They are expected not only to be good, but to be great. They need to be able to put the team on their back and lead them to a championship. It can be too much pressure sometimes. Top draft picks don’t always perform like expected. Just look at highly touted prospects like Rick DiPietro, Pascal Leclaire, Greg Joly, Patrick Stefan, Alexander Daigle and Brian Lawton for proof. Don’t tell that to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins however. He is quickly proving that not only can he live up to the hype of being a #1 draft pick playing in a hockey-crazed market thirsty for wins, he can thrive in it.
This “kid” has won the rookie-of-the-month for the last two months. He has 29 points in just 27 games and is on pace to score the most points for a 18 year-old since a guy named Sidney Crosby. That’s pretty good company to be in and with that he is developing a big fan base.
He is ranked 7th in the NHL in scoring, just five points back of Phil Kessel and poised to continue to make noise throughout the season. Collectors are certainly taking notice. His rookie cards are in huge demand, especially if you happen to live in or around Edmonton. While cards of other young stars on that team like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle continue to perform well, Nugent-Hopkins is the player collectors seem to covet right now.
We thought we would share some of the more exciting cards from this emerging star with fans here today. You can look for these cards today and others in the coming months; exclusively from Upper Deck.
We will finish the season with even more exciting rookie card content of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the rest of the 2011-12 NHL rookie class, but hopefully this gallery fired up fans for cards to be on the lookout for in the near future.