15 Most Valuable Hockey Cards of all time
Table of Contents
What are the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time? When you start researching the topic you will find that they are all Hall of Fame inductees except for Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, when they retire they are shoe ins for HOF. All the top 15 are household names.
If you haven’t heard of some of these hockey players then you need to watch some video on them. Everyone of them dominated their positions when they played. Bobby Orr cracks the top 15 twice, the only player to do so.
Hope you enjoy the write up for each player. Don’t be afraid to comment and let me know what you think of my list of the 15 most valuable rookie cards of all time. I only listed one tobacco card from the early 1900’s but there are several more that are valuable.
Tried to keep the list to popular players that everyone knows so I started with the 1951 Parkhurst cards that are very hard to find in nm-mn condition.
Here is the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time.
Gretzky is the greatest player ever to play the game of hockey. When Wayne retired in 1999 he held no less than 60 NHL records. He is the only player in history to score over 200 points in a season, he accomplished the feat four times. Records that he holds that will be very hard to break include 92 goals in the 1981-82 season.
He amassed 163 assists in the 1985-86 season. He scored over 100 points in 13 consecutive seasons. He scored over 50 goals in 8 straight seasons.
Gretzky had over 152 points in a season 9 times. I use 152 because that was the bench mark Esposito had set. Gretz had over 102 assists 11 times (consecutively). Orr held previous benchmark of 102. Gretzky always gave credit to his teammates. Very humble. Had over 175 pts 6 times
His 1979 OPC card is hard to find in nm-mn condition, much harder than the Topps version. It has chipping issues along the blue border, centering issues and rough cut issues. A PSA graded at 6 will cost you roughly $3500 US. A PSA 8 will run you over $5K US. I recently seen a PSA 10 sell for $465K.
With all valuable cards there are other issues to look for like counterfeits. This card has been counterfeited a lot so be careful if you plan on purchasing one. One thing to look for is a yellow dot on his left upper arm near the shoulder. All originals have this dot.
If you flip the card over and look at the back, it should be a tan color. Compare it to a common from the same year, if the colors are off its a counterfeit. If you look at his name on the top of the card with a magnifying glass it shouldn’t have any blue bleeding into the white, and the black border all around the card should be solid black.
Bobby Orr is my second on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. This is another hockey card that is tough to find in nm-mn condition like most cards pre 1980. Too many of them were used in bike wheels to make noise.
Bobby Orr was inducted into the hockey hall of fame in 1979. He was the best defenseman to ever play and his hockey cards are highly sought after even today. He was the first defenseman in NHL history to win the scoring title, that record is in tact today. He was a nine time NHL All Star and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Bruins.
Orr’s career was cut short because of knee issues. What he could have done without those issues remains a topic of discussion today. Bobby Orr won Two Art Ross Trophies as the leagues top point producer. He was the MVP and Conn Smythe winner of both Stanley Cup Championships in Boston. He won the Calder as rookie of the year.
He won 8 Norris Trophies as the leagues top defensmen, and he won them consecutively, a record that will undoubtedly never be broken.
The 1966 Topps rookie card is hard to find in good shape because of the brown border, there is chipping issues with it. Very hard to find centered perfectly as the brown frame surrounding the bottom name plate is usually off centered.
A PSA 4 of this card will set you back $3500. A PSA 7 will cost you upwards of $20K. I recently seen a PSA 8 sell for over $45K. If you are lucky enough to own a PSA 9 or 10 the sky is the limit, easily $250K or more.
Bobby Orr is third on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. I spoke of his 1966 rookie card, this one however is much more rare than that version and there is no PSA 10 copies available at the time of this writing.
Gordie Howe is fourth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. What can you say about Gordie Howe that already hasn’t been said? Grew up on the prairies of Saskatchewan and had a career most wish they could have.
When Gordie retired in 1980 he was the all time leader in goals (801) assists (1049) and points (1850) until Gretzky shattered his records. Howe played 26 seasons in the NHL and another six seasons in the WHA, can’t see anyone playing 33 years in today’s game, this record should stand for a very long time.
Maurice Richard is fifth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Maurice Richard otherwise known as the Rocket set the standard for goal scorers. Maurice was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 games.
He was tough as nails and took shit from no one. He was a ferocious competitor. he was the first player in NHL history to surpass 500 career goals, finishing his career with 544 in 18 seasons all with the Montreal Canadiens. The Rocket retired in 1960 and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961 after the league waived the 5 year waiting period.
You won’t find a PSA 10 of this card and if you do congratulations on a very rare find. They just don’t exist. Maurice Richard played on 13 All Star teams and won 8 Stanley Cup Championships with the Habs. he only has one Hart Trophy to his name, that came in the 1947 season.
Richard played on the famous Punch Line with Toe Blake and Elmer Lach. The trio finished the 1944-45 season 1-2-3 in the scoring race. Richard to this day remains an icon in Quebec.
Mario Lemieux is sixth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Mario played parts of 17 seasons in the NHL.His career was cut short due to a cancer scare but it didn’t seem to slow Mario down. Lemieux won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins and another three as owner of the team.
He won the Hart Trophy 3 times and the Art Ross six times. He was also the MVP of both Penguins Championships in 1991 and 1992. At the time of his retirement Lemieux finished with 690 goals and 1033 assists, which ranked him 7th on the all time list for points.
Mario Lemieux missed over 500 games in his playing career due to health concerns. He battled Cancer and returned to play. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1997 and returned to play in 2000, becoming only the third player ever to do so. Gordie Howe and Guy Lafleur were the other players to accomplish the feat. Bobby Orr said Lemieux was the most talented player he ever seen.
7. 1954 Topps
PSA 8 (52) – PSA 9 (3) – PSA 10 (0)
Prices for PSA Graded Cards
PSA 8 ($5.5K+) – PSA 8.5 ($12.5K+) – PSA 9 ($25K+)
Gordie Howe is seventh on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Read the previous Howe write up for details on his career. Like Maurice Richard this card is next to impossible to find in PSA 10 gem mint condition. If you find one you can pretty much name your price.
Bobby Hull is eighth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Bobby Hull’s career spanned 23 seasons in the NHL and WHA. He earned his nickname the Golden Jet by displaying end to end rushes and wiring the puck at high velocity.
Bobby won the Hart trophy as the leagues most valuable player twice and the Art Ross as the leagues leading scorer three times. He helped the Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961. Hull led the league in goals seven times during his career. He won two Avco Cups in the WHA and another league scoring title.
Bobby Hull retired in 1980. He tried to come back in the 1981 season as he was signed by the Rangers to play with his WHA line-mates Hedberg and Nilsson. The tryout only lasted 5 games as the Rangers and Hull agreed it was time to hang up the skates one last time.
Here is one fact that should surprise you about Hull. His shot was once recorded at 118mph and everyone in the league knew his wrist shot was harder than his slapshot. Hull’s top end speed was 47.8km per hour. Faster than McDavids recorded 42.7 km per hour.
If you collect PSA 10 cards you won’t have any luck finding one. They just don’t exist.
Georges Vezina is ninth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Georges played 7 seasons in the NHA and another 9 in the NHL. He spent his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945. Georges led the league in fewest goals against seven times.
He won two Stanley Cup Championships and played in a total of 5 throughout his stellar career. In 1927 the Habs donated a trophy to the league in Georges honor. The trophy would be named the Vezina and is rewarded to the goaltender who has the best goals against average throughout the season.
Georges Vezina 1911 imperial tobacco card is next to impossible to find in nm-mn condition. There are a few PSA 7’s out there and one PSA 8. One of the rarest cards to find in good condition.
Jacques Plante is tenth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Only 45 of Jacques cards have been graded by PSA and they are all under a grade of 7. This card is perhaps one the hardest to find that I know of. I personally have never seen one in person. I have been to a lot of card shops and they are just not available anywhere.
Jacques played ten years for the Montreal Canadiens and during that time won six Stanley Cups including 5 consecutively. Plante was the first ever goaltender to wear a mask innovating the position for years to come. He ended his career in 1975 playing for the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA.
Jacques Plante was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978. He was the first goaltender in history to come out of the net and play the puck outside his crease. Jacques finished his career with 437 wins ranking him 7th on the all time list.
Guy Lafleur is eleventh on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Guy played 17 seasons in the NHL for the Habs, Rangers and Nordiques. Guy was the first player in NHL history to record 50 goals and 100 points in a season 7 consecutive times. Guy won 5 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and played mostly with Jacques Lemaire and Steve Shutt. The trio stormed the NHL by force.
Lafleur is the all time leading scorer in Montreal Canadiens history. He amassed 1246 career points which included 518 goals and 728 assists. Quite an accomplishment for such a storied franchise. He holds the franchise record for points in a season with 136, and is tied with Steve Shutt for most goals in a season with 60.
Guy Lafleur won three Art Ross Trophies, two Hart Trophies, 3 Lester B Pearson Trophies and a Conn Smythe. Guy was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1988. There doesn’t seem to be any PSA grade 10’s in existence. I am sure there are a few but you just can’t find them.
Sidney Crosby is twelve on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Sidney is 32 years of age now and has played 15 NHL seasons to date. He is nicknamed Sid the Kid and is regarded as one of the best to ever lace them up. Sid has played his whole career in Pittsburgh and should retire a Pen.
Crosby scored 102 points in his rookie season but yet didn’t win the Calder Trophy, the trophy was awarded to Alex Ovechkin who scored 106 points including 52 goals. In his second season in the NHL Sidney scored 120 points, winning the Art Ross, Hart and Lester B Pearson Trophies.
In 2009-10 he won the Mark Messier trophy and the Rocket Richard trophy scoring 51 goals. Crosby’s career has been an unhealthy one since 2011 when he sustained his first of many concussions forcing him to miss numerous NHL games.
Crosby has won three Stanley Cup Championships with the Penguins. He was named by the NHL as one of the games top 100 players of all time. A PSA 10 graded card of Crosby will set you back $2700, not bad considering what a great player he has been.
Alexander Ovechkin is thirteenth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Alex Ovechkin was drafted first overall by the Capitals in 2004 NHL draft. He remained in Russia another year after the draft because the NHL was on strike.
In 2005-06 season Ovechkin won rookie of the year honors posting 106 points including 52 goals. Alex has won the Rocket Richard trophy a record 7 times in his career. In 2007-08 Ovechkin won the Art Ross, the Hart and the Lester B Pearson trophy.
\Alex is the third player in history to score at 50 goals in a season 7 consecutive times. he uses his body to free up pucks better than most, and continues to be one the best power forwards to ever play.
He won the Conn Smythe trophy in 2018 giving the Washington Capitals their first Stanley Cup win in franchise history. Alexander Ovechkin may go down as the greatest goal scorer the game has ever seen. He has a total of 706 NHL goals and trails Gretzky by 188 goals.
Ovi would have to play at least 5 more years to have a chance at the record. With the condition he keeps his body in he may be able to pull it off. I won’t bet against him.
Terry Sawchuk is fourteenth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Terry played 21 NHL seasons, during that time span he won the Calder Trophy, the Vezina four times and the Stanley Cup another four times. He was elected to the Hall of Fame after his first year of retirement.
When Sawchuk retired he was the current leader in wins among goaltenders with 447 which included 103 shutouts. I remember growing up thinking his shutout record would never be broken but alas it was, proving no record is safe over time.
Sadly, Sawchuk passed away after having an altercation with Ranger teammate Ron Stewart. He had to have his gallbladder removed and was suffering from a bleeding liver that doctors couldn’t repair. Like most cards from the 51 Parkhurst set obtaining a PSA 10 is impossible.
Patrick Roy is fifteenth on the list of the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Patrick played 11 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and eight more with the Colorado Avalanche. He won four Stanley Cups, two with the Habs and two more with the Avs. Roy was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Patrick won 3 Conn Smythe Trophies and remains the only player in league history to bestow the honor. Patrick Roy’s number is retired by both the Habs and Avalanche. Patrick finished his career with 551 wins and another 151 playoff wins.
He had a career .912 save percentage and is considered the best goaltender in NHL history. He didn’t break any records as far as shutouts are concerned finishing his career with 66.
Hope you enjoyed reading the 15 most valuable hockey cards of all time. Please feel free to comment if you wish and start a discussion on the players mentioned. Until next time keep those elbows high in the corners. Thanks to PSA where I gathered the grading prices for each card.
Read my previous article on Hockey card collecting in 2019-20 is absurd
I strongly suggest purchasing Huberdeau and Barkov hockey cards right now while they are under valued.