Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Erik Karlsson & Victor Hedman Dual Jersey Card

After meeting with an uncle of mine who has the largest card collection I've ever seen - at least twice that of the biggest card shop I've seen - I might end up keeping my dual swatch cards, or at least hold onto them for a while longer. So far, I'd been mostly trading them away rather than selling, and I'd usually get far less monetary value than I could have anyway.

I'm mentioning this because I fell upon a couple of really nice ones when unpacking/repacking last weekend and figured I'd share. First up, from Upper Deck's 2011-12 SPX set (card #WC-HK, part of the Winning Combos sub-set) comes this Erik Karlsson - Victor Hedman card:
It's pretty hard to argue against a Norris trophy winner and a second-overall draft pick, eh? Although I prefer my combo cards to feature players from the same team (I guess one could argue they both play for Team Sweden), I won't look a gift horse in the mouth... though at $90-140 a box of 18 packs (4 cards per), you'd think one would be entitled to criticize a bit!

When this card was released, Erik Karlsson had just posted a 45-point sophomore season with the Ottawa Senators, but few imagined he was going to capture the Norris right away, but on the strength of a 78-point season, he bested the rest of the class by a whopping 25-point margin. The Sens had proven right to have traded up (from 18th to 15th, with an additional 3rd-round pick thrown in) for him at the 2008 draft, which took place in Ottawa. He has represented Sweden at the 2009 World Juniors in Ottawa (earning a silver medal) and the 2010 World Championships in Koln (bronze).

Victor Hedman came with a little more hype, for a while considered the top prospect of his class - he was eventually drated second-overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, behind John Tavares and ahead of Matt Duchene, Evander Kane, Brayden Schenn, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Nazem Kadri. Louis Leblanc was also selected in the first round.

His progress was slow and steady, and he has become a solid top-3 defender, with enough upside to eventually be a #1 not just in Tampa, but on almost any team. We're not talking 'Norris' yet with this one, but reliability is a quality worth something, and his $4M cap hit for 5 seasons is reasonable. He has represented Sweden on the international stage on numerous occasions, at the 2007 Under-18 tournament in Tampere (bronze), the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Classic (U-18 World Cup) in Hodonin (gold), the 2008 World Juniors in Pardubice and the 2009 one in Ottawa (silver both times), as well as the 2010 World Championships in Koln (bronze). He also played for the men's team in 2008 in an exhibition game in Norway, at age 17.

The Karlsson patch is red, likely from the Sens' home jersey - though he is pictured wearing the white (away) one; the Hedman patch is black, and could be from the Bolts' third jersey (which he is shown wearing), or their regular home one, which used to be black.

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