Upper Deck's Young Gun hockey cards remain one of the hobby's most enduring sets. Some famous examples, like Pavel Bure and Sergei Federov's cards, were mass-produced hurting their value. The cost for other Young Gun rookies, like those of Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, is out of the price range of many collectors.

But there are some cards out there, of current players, that could make for strong investments. Below are some of those issues.

Cale Makar 2019 Young Guns 

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Cards for defensive players are not always the best investment, but Cale Makar is not a typical defenseman. The Canadian was drafted by the Avalanche with the 4th overall selection in the 2017 draft. It hasn't taken him long to make an impact as he has already won the Calder Trophy and Norris Trophy.

Makar's most impressive accomplishment came in 2022 when he led Colorado to the Stanley Cup and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs. Still only 24, he will have many more opportunities to add accomplishments. The defenseman's Young Guns rookie is currently selling for around $600 in a PSA 10.

Andrei Vasilevskiy 2014 Young Guns 


The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the better offensive teams in the NHL for the last 15 years. It seems almost unfair that they would have a netminder as talented as Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal. The truth is, though, that he is there and the Lightning will remain contenders for as long as he is.

Only 29 years old, the Russian goalie has already made 5 All-Star games and won the Vezina Trophy in 2019. He also led the Lightning to Stanley Cup Championships in 2020 and 2021, adding the Conn Smythe in the second year. His Young Guns rookie is hard to find in Gem Mint condition and PSA 10 copies go for around $1,000.

Leon Draisaitl 2014 Young Guns

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The Edmonton Oilers were one of sports most renowned dynasties during the late 1970s and early 1980s. But the franchise fell into hard times for decades. They have pulled out of it thanks to high draft picks and are now big-time contenders. And they are led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Draisaitl can sometimes be overshadowed by McDavid, but he is one of the best players in the NHL. Just 27 years old, the German sniper has scored more than 50 goals 3 times. He also won the Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophies in 2020. At the time, Draisaitl is a little underrated but that may not always be the case. His Young Guns rookie sells for around $800 in a PSA 10.

Auston Matthews 2016 Young Guns

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Auston Matthews is right on the borderline of being too expensive. He was considered to be a phenom coming into the league in 2016 and has been a star since hitting the ice. He recently turned 26 years old and has already made 6 All-Star teams.

Matthews won the Hart Trophy in 2022 and it is likely that won't be his last time winning the award. Matthews' Young Guns card comes in the 2016 set and sells for around $1200 in PSA 10 condition.

Kent Johnson 2022 Young Guns 

There is a little projection involved in this suggestion as Kent Johnson has only spent one full season in the NHL. After playing 3 games his first year, Johnson suited up 79 times for Columbus last year, notching 16 goals to go along with 24 assists.

Selected 5th overall in 2021, Johnson is expected to be a top-6 player for a Blue Jacket team that added Adam Fantilli in the draft. If he does break out, Johnson's Young Guns rookie card will look like a bargain as it is currently selling for under $100 in PSA 10 condition.

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.