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.
Kevin Smith, a popular writer, director, producer and actor is a big fan of the Edmonton Oilers and in particular Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Here he poses with a blow-up of an Upper Deck rookie card of the Nuge.
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.
Available now in packs of 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series One is this highly sought after Young Guns rookie card of RNH.
Also in packs of 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series One is a rare UD Canvas Young Guns rookie card of Nugent-Hopkins that has been commanding some big bucks in the secondary market.
The first Upper Deck autograph card of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be found in Toronto at the 2011 Fall Sports Cards & Collectibles Expo. Only 25 copies of this card were distributed to fans in attendance making them a very rare collectible.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkin's Biography of a Season cards will start to hit Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealers in the next week or so. This will likely be a huge hit with fans as he points out who the #1 draft pick was.
Lucky collectors could pull redemption exchange cards for this beauty in packs of 2011-12 NHL Artifacts. We are working currently on getting these cards produced and out to fans who have registered for them.
Black Diamond will be out in January and will have a variety of Nugent-Hopkins content. Here is his Quad Diamond Rookie card that will be a tough pull, but will certainly be in high demand with collectors.
The Lustrous Rookies in Black Diamond should be a big hit with collectors. This one in particular will likely be a must-have for RNH fans.
Also found in Black Diamond, the Ice Premieres Rookie card of RNH will be a HUGE hit for any collector who pulls it from a pack.
In late January/early February, look for this amazing autographed rookie jersey card of RNH in 2011-12 NHL SPx.
Upper Deck's National Hockey Card Day takes place on Saturday, February 11 and this is one of the cards collectors can find for free in Canada just by visiting their local hobby shop.
In late February/March, look for a medley of RNH in 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series Two with new O-Pee-Chee, MVP and Victory update rookie cards of him and memorabilia cards like this.
You can also look for some rare dual signed cards of RNH and Gabriel Landeskog in 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series Two.
One of the most highly sought after rookie cards of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will likely be his 2011-12 SP Authentic signed rookie card that fans can begin looking for in late March/early April.
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.