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Digital Subscriptions > Beckett Hockey > Dec 2019 > Straight Shooters

Straight Shooters

UPPER DECK’S YOUNG GUNS SUBSET IS THE HOBBY’S GO-TO FOR KEY RCS. HERE, 30 YEARS AFTER THEIR DEBUT, WE LOOK AT THE 100 MOST IMPORTANT CARDS TO EARN THE YG TAG.

1 2005-06 UD #201 SIDNEY CROSBY

It’s no exaggeration to say this card saved the hobby. Demand for hockey cards was at an all-time low in the wake of the cancelled season, but the anticipation for this single drove collectors back to the shops. Sid’s fully lived up to those early expectations, earning three Stanley Cups, two Olympic golds, two Hart trophies, and two scoring titles, while etching his name among the five greatest players of all-time.

2 1990-91 UD FRENCH #525 SERGEI FEDOROV

If you weren’t there, you wouldn’t believe it. Prices on this card leapt by the hour at shows as investors hoarded it like Microsoft stock. It stands as one of the most important singles in hockey history and one of the key drivers behind the hobby explosion in 1990-91.

3 2015-16 UD #201 CONNOR MCDAVID

The demand for this single is nothing short of stunning. This YG has been graded more often than any other by BGS, making raw copies almost impossible to acquire. He’s quickly lived up to the hype by winning two scoring titles and a Hart trophy.

4 2004-05 UD #194 HOBEY BAKER

With the NHL in a lockout and just two modern rookies available for the set, UD got creative and included this Young Guns Legend card of Baker, one of the most significant figures in American hockey history. It was Baker’s first card in a licensed issue, and deserves an RC tag.

5 2005-06 UD #443 ALEX OVECHKIN

UD wisely held this single for Series 2, ensuring the momentum built by Crosby’s RC in Series 1 would keep on rolling. With three MVPs, a Stanley Cup, eight Rocket Richards and a shot at Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal record, Ovechkin will be remembered as perhaps the greatest sniper of all time.

6 1990-91 UD FRENCH #526 PAVEL BURE

Bure’s Young Guns card pre-dated his NHL debut by a full season (back when that was permissible), but the hype for this single was such that there were stories of a count lot being traded for a late-model sports car in Vancouver.

7 2007-08 UD #227 CAREY PRICE

Powered by the voracious Montreal market, this card has been liquid for more than a decade. The fifth pick in the 2005 Draft has exceeded all expectations. On March 12, 2019, he passed Jacques Plante to become Montreal’s all-time wins leader with his 315th career victory.

8 2003-04 UD #234 MARC-ANDRE FLEURY

A huge personality who is beloved in Pittsburgh (where he won two Cups) and Las Vegas (where he took an expansion team to the Final). By the end of this season, Fleury could crash into the top-five on the NHL’s all-time wins list.

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Beckett Hockey December 2019,