Connor Bedard’s Autographs Heat Up National Hockey Card Day

Hockey card enthusiasts and early risers alike were in for an exhilarating twist during the National Hockey Card Day on April 13, 2024. Upper Deck, the bastion of hockey memorabilia, had managed to pull off what could be described as a slapshot surprise by tucking autographed cards of Connor Bedard, the prodigious rookie for the Chicago Blackhawks, into packs that were otherwise free. This unexpected move sent waves through the collector community, turning an ordinary promotional event into a treasure hunt of sorts.

Each year, on National Hockey Card Day, aficionados of the icy sport flock to their local hobby shops which partner with Upper Deck to dish out a limited number of free hockey card packs. These packs traditionally feature a mix of skaters—the veterans, the rookies, and the legends. For 2024, the spotlight shone particularly bright on young Connor Bedard, who has been skating his way into the limelight with prowess that promises a thrilling career ahead.

The day saw hobby stores brimming with a palpable buzz, observing foot traffic like never before. To accommodate the swarm, many shops in hockey-crazed locales threw open their doors in the wee hours of the morning, with lines spiraling far longer than seen in past years. The scene was a vibrant mix of veteran collectors, eager newbies, and families, making it a community festival of sorts driven by the allure of potentially snagging a piece of hockey gold—a Bedard autograph.

What was truly unprecedented about this year’s event was how Bedard’s signed cards ignited the entirety of the day’s festivities. While the free card packs often include a rookie card, nabbing an autograph is akin to finding the golden ticket in Willy Wonka’s chocolate bar. The rarity and the sheer unexpectedness of unearthing an autograph imbued the day with a special flavor. According to Dave Tellier from Wizard’s Tower in Barrhaven, Ontario, the inclusion of bedazzling Bedard’s sign-off has not only pulled more enthusiasts into the hobby fold but has also dusted off the shelves that house these collectible treasures.

Scenes at shops like Wizard’s Tower were pockets of sudden exclamations amid the rustle of card packets, as some fortunate souls discovered Bedard’s autograph. These lucky finds didn’t just remain clutched in the hands of the finders; they made their way onto digital marketplaces such as eBay, tagging handsome prices between $7 and $10—a figure only expected to climb as Bedard’s career progresses.

There is no doubting the fact that Bedard’s signature driven scantling has thrown a spotlight onto the upcoming Toronto Spring Sport Card and Memorabilia Expo. As enthusiasts and collectors converge, the value and the buzz around Bedard’s cards are poised to escalate, perhaps echoing the likes of rookie sensations from decades past.

This flurry of activity and anticipation isn’t confined to just private collectors’ circles or storefronts. Corporate players like GameStop, Toys R Us, and even the reverent aisles of the Hockey Hall of Fame joined in, distributing special nine-card sheets stamped with beloved players, including the man of the hour—Bedard. Such expansive participation underscores the varied tapestry of interests and the shared passion across demographics, united by the hobby of collecting.

The special allure of National Hockey Card Day lies not just in the freebies or the communal spirit it fosters; it’s also in the simple joy of holding a little piece of sporting history in your hands, and maybe, just maybe, finding that one card that sets your heart racing a bit faster. Whether a seasoned collector or a curious newcomer, the day offered a gateway into the realms of sports history, community, and pure, heart-thumping excitement, proving once again why the love for hockey, and its storied heroes, runs deep and wide. As card packs opened and faces lit up with delight or the sheer anticipation of what might be inside, it was clear—National Hockey Card Day 2024 was one for the record books, all thanks to a rookie with a promising swing and a signature to match.


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