Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nicolas Deschamps Autographed Card

Nicolas Deschamps was a second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks (35th overall in 2008) after posting better than point-per-game averages over three seasons in the LHJMQ, mostly with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.

He then had up-and-down seasons in the AHL, oscillating between nearly point-per-game runs and a few deeply ineffective ones as well, such as his lone assist in 12 games with the Syracuse Crunch in his last go-round in 2014-15.

He mostly toiled around in Europe for the past four seasons, spending time in Austria, Finland, Germany, and Sweden, before finding his niche with France's Rouen Dragons, with 20 goals, 28 assists and 48 points in 44 games so far for the second-place team (with a 30-9-3-2 record in 44 games).

He signed this card for me in 2012-13, a season during which he spent time with both the Toronto Marlies and the Hershey Bears in the AHL:
It's card #97 from In The Game's 2008-09 Heroes And Prospects set. It shows hiom wearing the Sags' beautiful blue (away) uniform.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Eric Brewer Autographed Card

The Olympics are upon us, so what better time to add to my Team Canada Numbers Project! with #3, Eric Brewer , wearing Team Canada's white (home) uniform, on card #256 from Upper Deck's 1998-99 Choice set and World Junior Showcase sub-set:
Brewer was one of the better defensemen to come out of the 1997 draft, as can be attested by both his being taken 5th overall, his 271 career points and 792 penalty minutes in 1009 regular-season games, and his being captain of the St. Louis Blues for parts of three seasons. He's also won Olympic gold (2002), World Championship gold (2003, 2004 and 2007), a World Cup title (2004) and World Juniors silver (1998).

Other notable defensemen selected in 1997 include Paul Mara (7th overall, 253 points and 776 PIMs in 734 games), Nick Boynton (9th, 144 points and 862 PIMs in 605 games), Scott Hannan (23rd, 217 points and 625 PIMs in 1055 games), Henrik Tallinder (48th, 142 points and 378 PIMs in 678 games), Joe Corvo (83rd, 310 points and 241 PIMs in 708 game), Brian Campbell (156th, 504 points and 277 penalty minutes in 1082 games), and Andrew Ference (208th, 225 points and 753 PIMs in 905 games with one Stanley Cup).

All told, yeah, despite finishing with a career -99 and only appearing in the playoffs four times in a 16-year career, Brewer was arguably and objectively in the top-3 at his position in his draft class.

He signed that card for me in blue sharpie whist with the Tampa Bay Lightning, probably during their long post-season run in 2011.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Brandon Prust Autographed Card

I got a great surprise in the mail today, one I had abandoned any hope of getting back:
That's a return from Brandon Prust, who signed card #269 from Panini's 2013-14 Score set in black sharpie adding his Montréal Canadiens uniform number (8) at the end and returned it by mail.

It's been so long that I no longer remember the year when I sent it (probably two years ago), but I remember I'd also sent him cards of his with the Calgary Flames and New York Rangers.

I guess he has time now that's he's retired and joined the coaching staff of the OHL's London Knights.

I met him last summer, and he really thought he still had a shot at making an NHL lineup, so much so that I believed him. In his prime, particularly with the Rangers and Habs, he was a terrific grinding third-liner who played with a physical edge. he could score 5 goals per year, get 15-20 points and 150 penalty minutes while playing against the opposition's second line and killing penalties.

Now he'll be able to share his passion with teenagers and young adults, showing them that playing balls-out with your heart on your sleeve can lead to fanbases still respecting you years after you've left town and marrying a local celebrity.

What's cool about this card is that it also features captains Brian Gionta and Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) in the background, proving my point about his usage and usefulness.