For all you Evgeny Kuznetsov superfans, here’s some good news. Upper Deck has released the Russian’s first NHL trading card as part of the 2014-15 MVP set. They hit eBay last week.
In the photo, Kuzya wears a white Caps’ away jersey and is in mid-stride, mouth agape. There are like a million different versions of the rookie card produced. Some have gold borders, some have silver borders, some have a facsimile signature printed on the top in silver foil, while others are teal and die-cut.
Earlier in the week, Washington Capitals prospect Tom Wilson participated in the NHLPA’s Rookie Showcase. The two-day event, held in Wilson’s hometown of Toronto, Ontario, brought dozens of the NHL’s most talented prospects together so that NHLPA partners Panini and Upper Deck could take photos and collect signatures for future trading cards. Big names at the event included 2013 first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, third overall pick Jonathan Drouin, and that one Subban who plays goalie.
On day one, the players were split into groups and led through a series of sessions with Upper Deck and Panini. The uber-talented prospects signed helmets, sticks, and jerseys that will be sliced up and put into cards. Above, you can see that Wilson signed some cards with “Go Caps!”
Once the prospects were done signing and their hands were sufficiently cramped, handlers herded them into a room hosted by EA Sports, which probably did not help their sore hands. The players took 3D headshots (to be used in the NHL15) and then tried out the unreleased NHL14. Later, the players had a pretty intense tournament on the upcoming new release and Wilson– in the words of the NHLPA — won, “fearlessly dominating the entire group.” ‘Atta boiiii.