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'Probably our busiest day ever': Sask. collectors race to get their hands on Connor Bedard rookie cards


Wednesday marked a special day for hockey card collectors alike as it was the official release day of the 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 2 set. Included in the set is Connor Bedard’s rookie “Young Guns” card, a card the vast majority of collectors consider to be Bedard’s official rookie card.

Upper Deck first began releasing “Young Guns” in its 1990-91 High Series set. Since that time, the rookie cards have become among the most popular to collect, and in Regina perhaps none will be more popular than Bedard’s card.

Tanner Piper, co-owner of Nut Man – Regina Cards, Collectables, Snacks and Drinks, said Wednesday was one of the busiest days the store has ever experienced.

“Yeah it was probably our busiest day ever and we’ve been around for many years going back to the 1980s,” Piper said.

The vast majority of Piper’s customers on Wednesday were all looking to get their hands on a Connor Bedard “Young Guns” rookie card.

Piper said people were lined up outside of the store hours before they opened, waiting as early as 7 a.m. and because of the recent winter weather, he was lower on stock than anticipated.

“It was a little bit of a unique day because of the big snowstorm that we had,” Piper said. “Normally on a release day we get all our stock in hand the day before, but Wednesday was a bit of a marathon because we were continuing to sell out throughout the day and at the same time getting more shipments in,” Piper said.

The day turned into a 14-hour shift for Piper, mainly dealing with customers looking for a chance at landing a Bedard “Young Guns” card.

“Our first shipment we actually had on time, it came from out east so it didn't have to travel through bad weather. That first order we sold out the whole thing within 40 minutes,” Piper said.

The chances of getting the highly coveted Bedard “Young Guns” card depend on the type of pack a customer bought.

Blaster packs contain the least amount of cards, followed by the traditional tins. Hobby boxes contain the most cards and statistically the highest chance of unwrapping a Bedard rookie card.

“Approximately you’re going to get six “Young Guns” cards in each hobby box and those they can or cannot be Connor Bedard, there’s a total of 50 rookie cards in the set,” Piper said.

Personally, Piper was lucky enough to unwrap a Bedard “Young Guns” card for himself. He put it for sale at what he considered a lofty price, $1,700, hoping he would be able to hang on to the rare card for some time.

Piper said the card ended up selling within a few hours. The buyer? His neighbour at his lake where he owns a cabin.

While undoubtedly the card is already worth more than many would be willing to pay, Piper said it’s hard to predict how much it will appreciate in value, adding that comparing it to what Wayne Gretzky rookies sell for today isn’t the best way to form an educated guess.

“The reason why Gretzky has that extreme premium on his graded stuff is because the process of cutting cards back then was so extremely difficult because they were cut with a hot wire and so there’s not that many perfect ones out there,” Piper said.

Piper said while not as old, the price of Connor McDavid’s “Young Guns” card might be a better example of what Bedard’s rookie card will commonly sell for.

“I think a better litmus test for this value would be looking at a guy like Connor McDavid, his “Young Guns” card is from 2015 and is graded between $3,000 and $10,000 for the most part depending on who you talk to,” Piper said.

“If we want to talk what it will be worth 30 years from now, the way inflation is going it could be a $30,000 to $60,000 card. There are many variables and predictions to be made but you can kind of watch where McDavid’s card goes.”

Piper added that some collectors will value Bedard’s card more than McDavid’s based on their personal opinions of how the players’ careers turn out.

One local collector trying to land a Bedard “Young Guns” card is Chris Clark. Clark is a co-host of the podcast known as “Pats Cast – The Unofficial Regina Pats Podcast.” He also owns a signed Regina Pats Connor Bedard card, but knows the “Young Guns” card could still end up being his most treasured collectable should he be able to find one.

Clark said himself and his friend bought a hobby box and a tin and plan on opening them Saturday night.

“There’s lots of rumours and speculation as to who is upping the price of them and whether or not it’s Upper Deck, a middleman or stores, luckily we were able to find one about $100 cheaper online than we did in Regina,” Clark said.

As a long time collector, Clark said he isn’t surprised in the least to see the demand for the coveted card or the price tag that comes with just a chance to unwrap one.

“You’ve seen as his other cards came out, there’s the CHL release, the Team Canada release and basically since his World Juniors breakout, the cards’ values have skyrocketed.”

Clark pointed out that no card will have more immediate value than the special release 1-1 Connor Bedard “Young Guns” “OutBurstGold” card. According to The Athletic, Upper Deck said the special gold card was part of a parallel release, which are regular set cards with special backgrounds and borders.

The special Bedard card already has one hobby store in the United States offering $1 million for it.

Meanwhile, despite missing 14 games due to a fractured jaw, Bedard leads all NHL rookies in goals with 17 and points with 43 in 49 games.

The Facebook page Nut Man Regina Cards and Collectables posted on Thursday morning that it was still completley sold out of Upper Deck Series 2.

"Have a couple cases of hobbies on way at increased price we will only be posting major restocks now," the post read. Top Stories

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