45 Most Valuable Hockey Cards in 2019: The All-Time Dream List

45 Most Valuable Hockey Cards Ever Produced

The most valuable hockey cards in the hobby can easily fetch upper five and six figure price levels.

Hockey card collectors are extremely passionate and many simply go crazy over some of the cards on this list...

That said, scarcity and fierce auction bidding competition can keep hobbyists searching for some of these rare hockey cards for years...so patience is a virtue when collecting them.

So, if you own any one of them, then consider yourself extremely lucky...

Without further ado, here is a look at the 45 most expensive hockey cards in the hobby.

Let's jump right in!

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Ross Uitts

Ross Uitts - Owner

Are you selling sports cards that were produced from 1868 - 1979?

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Note: To build this list, we relied on PSA's Sports Market Report online price guide and other hobby pricing resources. Values listed are only estimates and are only meant to serve as reference points.

1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $465,000

One of two mainstream Wayne Gretzky rookie cards, the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Gretzky tops them all as the most valuable hockey card of all-time.

Gretzky himself needs no introduction but many hobby outsiders may not be up to speed on O-Pee-Chee, Topps' counterpart in the Canadian market.

O-Pee-Chee cards are typically more difficult to find in high grade than their Topps counterparts due to lower quality card stock and printing standards.

That said, finding one in PSA 10 Gem Mint condition is incredibly rare as only two examples have ever achieved this lofty standard as of this writing.

Hence, the gigantic price tag at that grade level...

1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

1966 Topps USA Test #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $205,000

For the 1967-68 season, the NHL expanded from six to twelve teams and Topps quickly released these "Test" issues to do exactly that: test the American market for its interest in hockey cards.

Front a design standpoint, they are nearly identical to the regular 1966 Topps set except for the woodgrain borders appearing lighter and the backs of the card are printed only in English (as opposed to both English and French).

Orr was one of the greatest defensemen of all-time and his legacy along with the extreme scarcity of this issue make it very deserving of the number 2 slot on this list.

1966 Topps USA Test #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card

1979 Topps #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $200,000

Next on our list is the Great One's Topps rookie card.

In PSA 10 Gem Mint condition, this one can also sell into the six figure range.

There are also only two examples of his Topps rookie card to have ever achieved PSA 10 status so that just goes to show you how much more desirable his O-Pee-Chee rookies are based on the price difference.

But let's be real, no hockey card collector is going to complain about having one version or the other in any condition...

1979 Topps #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

1958 Topps #66 Bobby Hull Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $150,000

One of the greatest to ever grace the ice, Bobby Hull was known for his incredible explosiveness and power, two attributes which would help him win 2 Hart Memorial Trophies and 3 Art Ross Trophies over his storied career.

His iconic status as well as where his 1958 Topps rookie card was on the printing sheet help propel this card to among the hobby's most expensive.

Because it was the last card in the set, that meant it was positioned in the bottom corner of the printing sheet making it susceptible to poor centering as well as wear and tear.

Because of that, high grade examples are worth thousands of dollars.

1958 Topps #66 Bobby Hull Rookie Card

1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $115,000

Another Bobby Orr card makes the list in the form of his regular 1966 Topps rookie card.

Notice the darker borders on this card compared to the test issue mentioned earlier.

And if you were to flip the card over, you'd also see text in both English and French along with a "Printed in Canada" message along the bottom.

Typically, you'll only see that kind of messaging on O-Pee-Chee cards but that was not the case with 1966 Topps.

The woodgrain borders and television set layout on these cards is very reminiscent of 1955 Bowman baseball cards.

1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card

1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #38 Georges Vezina Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 8 Near Mint / Mint Condition: $75,000

The 1910 and 1911 Imperial Tobacco cards were the first hockey cards ever produced and contain legends like Art Ross, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor, Newsy Lalonde and you guessed it: Georges Vezina.

The Vezina rookie card is the key to the 1911 C55 set and features some beautiful artwork of the hockey legend bordered by upside down hockey sticks.

Nicnamed the "Chicoutimi Cucumber" for his calm and steady play as goaltender, Vezina was consistently among the top at his position season after season.

In fact, since 1981, the NHL has awarded the "Vezina Trophy" to the most outstanding goaltender each season in his honor.

1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #38 Georges Vezina Rookie Card

1951 Parkhurst #66 Gordie Howe Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $50,000

One of my favorite hockey cards of all-time, the 1951 Parkhurst Gordie Howe is one of the most widely recognized hockey cards in the entire hobby.

In an iconic set that features many other legendary greats like Maurice Richard and Terry Sawchuck, Howe's rookie card far outpaces them all.

The condition challenges facing this card start from the way they were produced.

The card stock itself is fragile and the sheets they were on were stacked in piles that were then cut all at once with a guillotine.

On top of that, the cards were then tossed into a cement mixer to be randomized before placing them into packs.

The company did its best to not distribute cards with any dings or bad cuts but you can imagine that many inevitably passed through.

1951 Parkhurst #66 Gordie Howe Rookie Card

1923 V145-1 #25 Bert Corbeau Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 2 Good Condition: $40,000

"Pig Iron" may not have been a Hall of Famer but that doesn't stop his rookie card from being incredibly valuable.

The V145-1 William Patterson set was a forty-card promotional set that featured many hockey greats like King Clancy, Aurele Joliat, and Howie Morenz.

So why would Corbeau's rookie card stand atop them all?

It is said that William Paterson offered to award a pair of skates to anyone who was able to complete the forty-card set but in order to limit how many skates they gave out, they drastically limited the circulation of Corbeau's card.

In fact, as of this writing only six examples of the card have been graded by PSA.

1923 V145-1 #25 Bert Corbeau Rookie Card

2005 The Cup #180 Sidney Crosby Rookie Card Autograph

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $30,000

Considered to be the "Holy Grail" of all Sidney Crosby cards, his 2005-06 The Cup rookie features an on-card autograph and jersey patch.

Numbered to just 99 examples, these cards are extremely rare and seldom do you see them surface for sale or auction.

When they do, collectors go nuts and are willing to shell out big bucks to own one of these elusive modern beauties.

2005 The Cup #180 Sidney Crosby Rookie Card Autograph

1912 C57 #1 Georges Vezina

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $25,000

Another highly sought-after Georges Vezina card is his 1912 C57 issue.

This is card #1 of a set of 50 cards that were distributed in packs of cigarettes.

Because his was card #1, that meant his card was often placed on top of stacks by collectors who sought to put them in order and exposing it to more wear and tear than others in the set.

High grade examples are therefore relatively more difficult to come by making any of these in top condition worth easily in the five figure range.

1912 C57 #1 Georges Vezina Hockey Card

1923 V145-1 #15 Howie Morenz Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $22,000

One of the Hockey Hall of Fame's original nine inductees and one of the NHL's first major stars, Morenz was a three-time Hart Trophy winner.

Known for his superb skating ability, he was nicknamed the "Stratford Streak" and "Mitchell Meteor" because he was so quick on the ice.

Morenz died way too soon at the young age of 34 due to complications from a broken leg that occurred during a game.

1923 V145-1 #15 Howie Morenz Rookie Card

1953 Parkhurst #27 Jean Beliveau Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $20,000

If there's one thing "Le Gros Bill" knew how to do it was win.

Over his legendary career, Beliveau would go on to win 17 Stanley Cup championships (10 as a player and 7 as an executive) all with the Montreal Canadiens.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all-time, Beliveau also has 2 Hart Trophies and 1 Art Ross Trophy to his name.

This card is extremely condition sensitive and tough to find in high grade making it worth thousands of dollars in top condition.

1953 Parkhurst #27 Jean Beliveau Rookie Card

1924 C144 Champ's Cigarettes Howie Morenz

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $18,500

Produced by Tobacco Products Corporation of Canada, Ltd., this set featured 60 cards in total and were distributed with packs of Champ’s Cigarettes.

One thing that you'll notice is that the date of issue of this set is quite later than other tobacco card sets.

These sepia-toned cards were fairly straightforward in design and featured short biographies of the players on the reverse sides.

The Howie Morenz card is the most expensive in the set that includes hockey legends such as Georges Vezina, King Clancy, Aurel Joliat, and many more.

1924 Champ's Cigarettes Howie Morenz Hockey Card

1951 Parkhurst #4 Maurice Richard Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $17,500

Maurice “The Rocket” Richard goes down in history as one of the sport's most outstanding scorers of all-time as he was the very first to reach 500 career goals and ended up with 544 to his name. 

During the 1944-45 season, he even amassed an incredible 50 goals in 50 games.

Along the way, Richard would earn one Hart Trophy, 14 All-Star selections, and would help win 8 Stanley Cup Championships over his career.

Like the Gordie Howe rookie card in this same set, Richard's rookie card is usually found with poor centering and surface/edge damage due to the poor stock upon which this set was printed.

1951 Parkhurst #4 Maurice Richard Rookie Card

1923 V145-1 #19 Georges Vezina

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $16,000

The third card ever produced to feature Vezina (and the third to appear on this list) is his V145-1 William Patterson issue.

It's amazing to think that this small set of 40 cards included 19 Hall of Famers giving it incredible star power.

Given Vezina's importance to the game of hockey, it's easy to see why his cards are so highly demanded by hockey collectors.

1923 V145-1 #19 Georges Vezina Hockey Card

1910 C56 #12 Art Ross Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

Art Ross's importance to the game of hockey cannot be understated as he was an incredible defenseman, coach, and innovator who helped advance the sport in many ways.

It's easy to understand why he was part of the inaugural Hockey Hall of Fame class in 1945 and why, in 1947, the NHL created the Art Ross Trophy to recognize the league's top goal scorer.

Ross actually has two rookie cards in this set (#12 and #8) that depict him in two different poses and sweaters of the Haileybury Club.

1910 C56 Imperial Tobacco #12 Art Ross Rookie Card

1910 C56 #15 Cyclone Taylor Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

Pictured as a member of the Renfrew Creamery Kings on his 1910 C56 rookie card, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor was an extremely fast skater.

Hence, the nickname "Cyclone".

He was also a prolific scorer as he would finish his career averaging more than one goal per game after scoring 194 goals in 186 games.

This is undoubtedly one of the key rookie cards in one of the hobby's most iconic sets.

1910 C56 #15 Cyclone Taylor Rookie Card

1910 C56 #36 Newsy Lalonde Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

Edouard Cyrille "Newsy" Lalonde was incredibly talented at both lacrosse and hockey but was also known as being a very mean guy who you didn't want to mess with.

And you kind of get that feeling by looking at his C56 rookie card.

Regardless of his personality, Lalonde had one of the most wicked snap shots the sport has ever seen, an asset he would use to win seven straight scoring titles across multiple professional leagues.

Until it was broken by Maurice Richard in 1954, Lalonde held the record for most career goals scored with 468.

1910 C56 Imperial Tobacco #15 Newsy Lalonde Rookie Card

1910 C56 #8 Art Ross Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

The other Art Ross rookie in the C56 set, this one also shows him as a member of the Haileybury Club but in a different sweater than card #12.

In terms of desirability, there really is no difference between either rookie card as just about the same number of each have been graded by PSA with no clear pattern as to which is more difficult to obtain in high grade.

1910 C56 Imperial Tobacco #8 Art Ross Rookie Card

1911 C55 #20 Cyclone Taylor

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

Like Cyclone Taylor's 1910 C56 rookie card, his C55 issue also shows him as a member of the Renfrew Creamery Kings.

Don't get me wrong, the C56 designs are fantastic in their own right but I've always loved the double hockey stick borders of the C55 design.

Given such a calm pose on this card, it's hard to imagine just how explosive Cyclone Taylor was on the ice.

1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #20 Cyclone Taylor Hockey Card

1911 C55 #31 Art Ross

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

The design of Art Ross's C55 Imperial Tobacco card is absolutely fantastic as the bright yellow background, double hockey stick borders and charming smile on Ross's face give the card strong eye appeal.

Ross is pictured as a member of the Montreal Wanderers, one of two teams with whom he won a Stanley Cup Championship, the other being the Kenora Thistles.

He was always known for his willingness to fight for players' rights and that was even more apparent when the NHA imposed a $5,000 salary cap rule per team.

Fearing pay cuts, he began rallying other players to form their own league.

However, they never quite got it running after realizing that finding suitable locations to play would be extremely difficult given most stadiums were controlled by the NHA.

1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #31 Art Ross Hockey Card

1923 V145-1 #24 Jack Adams Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

Hall of Famer Jack Adams is the only person in history to win the Stanley Cup as a player, coach and general manager.

Adams was no slouch on the ice over a 10-year playing career but he is perhaps best known for his time with the Detroit Red Wings as a coach and general manager for 36 years.

In fact, until Mike Babcock surpassed him in 2014, Adams was the winningest coach in Detroit Red Wings history.

Since 1974, the NHL has awarded the Jack Adams Award to the most outstanding coach each season.

His rookie card is part of the infamous V145-1 William Patterson set and is one of the keys that every collector chases.

1923 V145-1 #24 Jack Adams Rookie Card

1923 V145-1 #3 King Clancy Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $15,000

Another key rookie card to appear in the V145-1 William Patterson set is that of Francis Michael "King" Clancy, a nickname he shared with his father who first earned it as a football player for Ottawa.

Over his professional career, King Clancy did just about everything you could possibly do in hockey as he spent time as a player, coach, executive and even a referee.

He would win three Stanley Cup Championships as a player and three more as an assistant manager-coach.

One of the most important awards, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, is awarded annually to the NHL player who gives back to the community and displays exceptional leadership qualities both on and off the ice.

1923 V145-1 #3 King Clancy Rookie Card

1911 C55 #42 Newsy Lalonde

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $13,000

Lalonde got his nickname "Newsy" because he spent time as a young reporter and printer with both the Cornwall Freeholder and Woodstock, Ontario Express newspapers.

Like we mentioned earlier, though, Lalonde was known for having a rough personality with a short temper which was probably better suited for hockey than in the media.

His 1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco card features a bright color scheme that really pops due to his red Montreal Canadiens sweater.

1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #42 Newsy Lalonde Hockey Card

1937 V356 World Wide Gum #18 Howie Morenz

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $12,500

Issued by World Wide Gum months after the hockey icon had passed away in a hospital at the young age of 34 years, these cards are also known in the hobby as "Ice Kings".

The set includes 135 cards in total that feature black and white player images on the card fronts.

The back of Morenz's card mentions his injury he suffered in that game against the Black Hawks in 1937 and lists him as "Formerly of Canadiens".

His son, a young kid at the time, was also included in the set as card #100 and depicted him as the Montreal Canadiens mascot whose "greatest ambition is to follow in his father's footsteps."

1937 V356 World Wide Gum #18 Howie Morenz Hockey Card
1937 World Wide Gum #100 Howie Morenz Jr. Hockey Card

1936 O-Pee-Chee V304D #121 Howie Morenz

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $12,000

Cards from the 1936-1937 V304D O-Pee-Chee set are very difficult to find in high grade as many of their die-cut backgrounds were punched out and folded to allow the cards to stand up as intended.

Often times, the die-cut backgrounds are missing entirely.

Therefore, finding examples where collectors refrained from messing with the die-cut backgrounds is not common, especially in high grade.

Also unusual, this 36-card set was numbered #97-132 as it was a continuation from the O-Pee-Chee V304A, V304B, and V304C sets printed from 1933-1935.

1936 O-Pee-Chee V304D #121 Howie Morenz Hockey Card

1971 O-Pee-Chee #148 Guy Lafleur Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $12,000

The 1971 O-Pee-Chee design is instantly recognizable and Lafleur's rookie card is one of the keys to this set loaded with Hall of Famers.

The cartoonish team names and pastel color schemes are perfect representations of the 1970's.

Lafleur is the all-time leading scorer in Canadiens history and also happened to win five Stanley Cup Championships, three Art Ross Trophies, two Hart Memorial Triphies, three Lester B. Pearson Awards and one Conn Smythe Trophy.

I guess you could say the guy knew how to play...

1971 O-Pee-Chee #148 Guy La Fleur Rookie Card

1911 C55 #4 Joe Malone Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,500

Joe Malone was known for his clean style of play and sharp scoring ability.

In fact, Malone is the only player in NHL history to score seven goals in a single game.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950, Malone was unquestionably one of the greatest the sport has ever seen.

His 1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco rookie card pictures him as a youngster in one of those early horizontally-striped Quebec Bulldogs uniforms.

1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #4 Joe Malone Rookie Card

1952 Parkhurst #88 Gordie Howe

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,500

Following up his rookie card appearance in 1951, "Mr. Hockey" is presented on a much more colorful Parkhurst design in this issue that was released the following year.

The key to the 102-card set, Howe's 1952 Parkhurst card boasts strong eye appeal with artwork of a young Howe on the ice with a facsimile signature to boot.

The back of the card references how he "brings the puck from his own end and sets up his own plays", something that would catch the attention of hockey fans everywhere as an innovative style.

1952 Parkhurst #88 Gordie Howe Hockey Card

1954 Topps #8 Gordie Howe

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,500

While it may not be as valuable, this card is similar in what it means to hockey card collecting as compared to what the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle means to baseball card collecting.

Although it is not his rookie card, this card is incredibly important in the hobby as being the key card in Topps' inaugural hockey card set.

One of the most beautiful vintage hockey cards ever designed, the card boasts beautiful artwork of Howe in his Red Wings uniform spraying bits of ice as he skates.

The red, white and blue color scheme makes the card pop but those colored borders along the bottom can present challenges in the form of easily showing wear and chipping.

1954 Topps #8 Gordie Howe Hockey Card

1912 C57 #2 Punch Broadbent Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,000

The rookie card of Harold Lawton "Punch" Broadbent is one of the key cards in the 1912 C57 set which consisted of 50 cards and was loaded with Hall of Famers.

Widely considered one of the sport's first true power forwards, Broadbent was a four-time Stanley Cup Champion who still holds the record for most consecutive games played while scoring a goal at 16 straight games.

A young Broadbent is shown with a slight grin on his face as a member of the Ottawa Senators where he would spend the majority of his career.

1912 C57 #2 Punch Broadbent Rookie Card

1912 C57 #20 Art Ross

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,000

Art Ross's cards are keys to every set in which he appeared and this is no exception.

The black and white image of Ross may not make for the most eye appealing card when compared to the beautiful color artwork of some of his other issues but that doesn't stop collectors for hunting it down.

Ross is pictured as one of the Montreal Wanderers, one of several teams for which Ross would play throughout his storied career.

1912 C57 #20 Art Ross Hockey Card

1912 C57 #3 Clint Benedict Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,000

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1965, Clint Benedict knew how to do one thing very well and that was play goaltender.

Whether it was in lacrosse or hockey, Benedict was a goal-stopping machine.

Nicknamed "Praying Benny", he was the first goalie to drop to his knees to stop the puck, which at the time was illegal, and later led to one of the first rule changes the NHL ever made.

He was also the first hockey goalie to wear a mask.

A man of many firsts, his rookie card is a key to the C57 set.

1912 C57 #3 Clint Benedict Rookie Card

1912 C57 #43 Cyclone Taylor

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,000

For the third and final time, Cyclone Taylor makes our list with his 1912 C57 issue on which he is listed as a member of the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.

The image itself seems to have been captured from 1908 when he was with the Ottawa Senators.

Again, the black and white images of the C57 set may not be as appealing as some of the artwork on other early tobacco issues but there is no questioning that this is one card the hockey card collectors love.

1912 C57 #43 Cyclone Taylor Hockey Card

1912 C57 #44 Newsy Lalonde

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,000

Yet another C57 comes in the form of Newsy Lalonde's #44 card.

Like others in this iconic tobacco card set, Newsy's card can typically be found with poor centering and surface damage issues that often prevent it from achieving higher grades.

One of several key Hall of Famers in the small, 50-card set, Lalonde's card remains high atop the lists of many hockey card collectors.

1912 C57 #44 Newsy Lalonde Hockey Card

1933 O-Pee-Chee V304A #23 Howie Morenz

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $11,000

Lacking the die-cut, foldout background of the 1936 O-Pee-Chee V304D issue that we reviewed earlier, these cards boasted an altogether different feature: they can be found with either a green, orang blue, or red background.

A black and white image of Morenz in his Canadiens gear is superimposed over the colorful background that explodes with stars.

As you can probably tell by now given how many are on this list, Morenz cards are some of the most widely sought after in the hobby.

1933 O-Pee-Chee V304A #23 Howie Morenz Hockey Card

1971 O-Pee-Chee #45 Ken Dryden Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $11,000

Another classic rookie card from the 1971 O-Pee-Chee set is that of legendary goalie Ken Dryden.

A five-time Mezina Trophy winner, Dryden showed promise as an outstanding goal stopper from the get-go as he would also win rookie of the year honors in the form of the Calder Trophy for his work during the 1971-72 season.

Dryden's career was extremely short at just over 7 full seasons during which he would help lead the Canadiens to 6 Stanley Cup Championships.

One of the most impressive feats of his career was winning the Conn Smythe Trophy before winning the Calder Trophy.

Late in the 1970-71 season, All-Star goalie Rogie Vachon went down due to injury and a young Dryden filled in and quickly led the Candiens to Stanley Cup victory.

1971 O-Pee-Chee #45 Ken Dryden Rookie Card

1985 O-Pee-Chee #9 Mario Lemieux Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $10,500

One of two mainstream Mario Lemieux rookie cards, the other being the Topps counterpart of this card, is his 1985 O-Pee-Chee #9 issue.

His Topps rookie card is no slouch but since O-Pee-Chee cards were printed for the Canadian market and are typically more difficult to find in high grade due to lower quality card stock and printing standards, this one gets a bump.

The front of the card features a young Lemieux in his Penguins uniform staring intently on the ice at the start of a young career that would prove nothing but dominant down the line.

1985 O-Pee-Chee #9 Mario Lemieux Rookie Card

1985 O-Pee-Chee Box Bottoms Mario Lemieux Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $10,500

The 1985-86 O-Pee-Chee set also featured four cards on wax pack box bottoms that collectors could cut out by hand to collect.

The set contained 16 cards in total but instead of being numbered, they were actually distinguished by letters ranging from "A" to "P".

The front of the card depicts a similar design to that of Lemieux's regular OPC card except the borders are yellow, the Penguins logo is in the upper left and they used a different image, of course.

Because they were hand cut by collectors from the bottom of the wax pack boxes, you'll typically see this card with miscuts and other damage.

1985 O-Pee-Chee Box Bottoms #1 Mario Lemieux Hockey Card

1912 C57 #34 Eddie Gerard Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $10,000

Another one of the key cards to the elusive C57 is Eddie Gerard's rookie card.

One of the original inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945, Gerard was the first player to win the Stanley Cup four years in a row when he did so with the Ottawa Senators and Toronto St. Patricks from 1920 to 1923.

Having a repuation as one of the toughest defenders of his era, Gerard was also an accomplished rugby player.

1912 C57 #34 Eddie Gerard Rookie Card

1923 Paulins Candies #39 George Hainsworth Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $10,000

The 1923 Paulins set stands as one of the most desirable of the pre-War era and Hainsworth's rookie card stands atop them all as the key to the set.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, Hainsworth was known as a stout goaltender as he would rack up three Vezina Trophies from 1927-1929.

Pictured as a member of the Saskatoon Crescents where he started his career, Hainsworth still holds the NHL single season shutout record (22) and goals against average (0.92).

1923 Paulin's Candies #39 George Hainsworth Rookie Card

1923 V145-1 #14 Auriel Joliat Rookie Card

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $10,000

Another key card in the iconic V145-1 William Patterson set is the rooke card of Auriel Joliat, one of the most prolific scorers of his era.

Despite playing in a time period where seasons included 48 games, Joliat sits at number 9 on the all-time Canadiens' career goal-scoring list.

He's also notable for scoring the first documented empty net goal in the history of the NHL.

The "Mighty Atom" was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947 for his achievements on the ice.

1923 V145-1 #14 Auriel Joliat Rookie Card

1933 Hamilton Gum V288 #8 Howie Morenz

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $10,000

The 1933 Hamilton Gum set may contain only 21 cards but it is absolutely loaded with star power and rookie cards.

Available in one of four colored backgrounds (green, orange, blue and beige), the card fronts depicted black and white images of players along with their names at the bottom.

One of the odd things about this set was how they were numbered from 1-49 even though there were only 21 cards.

There was no apparent sequence to the numbering of the cards as they skipped all over the place.

As you can imagine, Morenz's card was the key to the set.

1933 Hamilton Gum V288 #8 Howie Morenz Hockey Card

1933 V357 Ice Kings #36 Howie Morenz

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $10,000

Another key Morenz card from 1933 is his World Wide Gum V357 "Ice Kings" issue.

The fronts of these cards looks very similar to the 1933 Goudey Gum baseball cards in which Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig appeared.

The backs of these cards can come in one of two versions, the first with an English-only text layout or the other which contains both English and French.

Neither version appears to be anymore desirable or valuable than the other as collectors are just happy to get their hands on any Morenz card in the first place.

1933 V357 Ice Kings #36 Howie Morenz

1936 O-Pee-Chee V304D #118 Eddie Shore

Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $10,000

Another key card to the 1936 O-Pee-Chee V304D with its die-cut backgrounds is that of legendary bruiser, Eddie Shore.

Known for his tough and, at times violent defense, Shore would win the Hart Memorial Trophy four times during his storied career, the most by any defenseman.

He was also a seven-time NHL First All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion who would later be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947.

Like any card from this set, this card typically suffers from partially or entirely-punched-out die-cut backgrounds.

1936 O-Pee-Chee V304D #118 Eddie Shore Hockey Card

Most Valuable Hockey Cards Wrap-Up

So, there you have it: the most expensive hockey cards that you’re ever likely to encounter in the entire hobby.

Howie Morenz, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Art Ross, and Cyclone Taylor are just several of the hockey greats that reside on this list of cardboard rarities. 

To this day, they remain quite valuable and that is not likely to chnage anytime soon.

Only a finite number of them still exist (especially in high grade) and as likely as it is that hockey will remain a very popular sport, collectors will do anything to get their hands on them.

As a collector, you'd be lucky to own any one of these incredible hockey cards but if you're up for a lifetime challenge, why not go for them all?

Ross Uitts
 

Ross is the founder of Old Sports Cards and has been collecting sports cards for over 30 years. He also loves to write about the hobby and has written for Beckett, Topps, SABR and of course, this website. Need help buying or selling cards or have a general question about the hobby? Contact him at [email protected]

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