Monday, February 23, 2015

Jared Cowen: 2 Autographed Custom BG Cards

A few years ago, a very friendly trader/collector from Calgary with an extensive Wayne Gretzky collection, KC, sent me a hockey puck signed by Jared Cowen (I don't remember why, probably through one of our many trades), before taking some time out from blogging/posting; unfortunately, I never received it, but I don't doubt for a second that he sent it.

It was at that time that I started following Cowen's career more closely, as I'd only been aware of the giant defenseman through his suiting up for Team Canada at various minor-league competitions, such as his gold- and bronze-winning turns on the U-17 teams in 2008, and his silver medals at the 2010 and 2011 World Juniors, the latter as an alternate captain.

The Ottawa Senators' 9th-overall first round pick in 2009, Cowen now towers at 6'5'' and 230 pounds, which - in my opinion - is the main reason why he was suspended for a hit to the head of the Florida Panthers' Jussi Jokinen; he would have had to get down on his knees to hit him in the chest, the type of move that cost the Cats' Dmitri Kulikov a few games recently himself.

There's something to be said about all these giants getting drafted on defense and how they are sometimes at a disadvantage when it comes to hitting now that the NHL is cracking down on hits to the head to save face for decades of not doing enough to protect players from concussion-related issues. However, with his skill set - good foot speed, a good first pass, the ability to complete checks and extremely sound positioning, particularly at such a young age - he was a no-brainer to be chosen at his rank.

If he could only improve his stick-handling and decision-making with the puck when skating towards opponents (rather than, say, getting rid of the puck along the boards), he could actually develop into more than the #4-D he already is.

He's a nice building block for the Sens, having captained the WHL's Spokane Chiefs and having won the Calder Cup with the Binghamton Senators.

I picked up these two custom cards from Ottawa-area collector BG on Ebay a few years ago, from their 2010-11 Hot Prospects set (and Future Watch sub-set), both signed in blue sharpie and showing him having just been drafted:

The more I think about it, however, the more I think custom cards should find their own sub-set names rather than lift them from major manufacturers - particularly two different ones, as seen here.

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