The Top 27 Most Expensive Hockey Cards Ever Sold

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Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Are you wondering what the most expensive hockey cards ever sold are? I have you covered!

Gretzky. Orr. Howe. Hull. Lemieux. Crosby. Ovechkin. McDavid. Hockey has no shortage of iconic names that are globally recognized in the sporting world. Some of them just so happen to have very valuable trading cards as well.

When updating this list, we noticed that it looked almost entirely different, for there has been a new influx of high-end hockey collectors. Today, we look to recap the best of the best within the hobby.

Related: Most Valuable Trading Cards Ever Sold

In the United States, ice hockey isn’t as statistically popular as sports like soccer, basketball, baseball, and American football. Yet, from 2008–2020, the Stanley Cup finals averaged 2.15 million viewers per game. During the hobby’s resurgence this decade, we’ve seen some big money spent on hockey cards; in this list, we are going to look at the top 27 most expensive hockey cards ever sold. Note: To keep the list fresh and unique, we are only allowing each individual card to appear once. Let’s dive right in!

27. 2015 Upper Deck Young Guns Exclusives Connor McDavid ROOKIE RC /100 PSA 10 - $40,800

connor mcdavid UD exclusives psa10

Kicking off this list is the modern day GOAT of hockey, Connor McDavid... and as you can imagine, you will be seeing a LOT of him on this list! This particular card is one of his most desirable non-patch, non-auto rookie, an Upper Deck Young Guns UD Exclusives numbered to /100 graded a PSA 10. It sold back in October of 2021 on eBay and would likely command an even bigger price if sold today, especially considering only 13 of the /100 have been graded with PSA and only 4 received a 10 grade.

26. Wayne Gretzky 2012 Fleer E-X 2001 Essential Credentials Now BGS 9.5 - $52,322

wayne gretzky fleer retro ex2001

Wayne Gretzky. The Great One. How many times do you think you will be seeing HIM on this list? This particular card was numbered /9, and received a BGS 9.5 gem mint grade. It's a beautiful example of a highly collectible insert of hockey's greatest all-time player and sold on eBay back in May of 2022. With the hockey market heating up, it makes you wonder what it would sell for if it went back on auction today!

25. Connor McDavid 2015 Fleer Showcase Precious Metal Gems (PMG) Rookie Purple /5 BGS 9 – $60,000

2015 Fleer Showcase Precious Metal Gems Connor McDavid
Heritage Auctions

This is a rookie precious metal gem of McDavid, and it is limited to just five copies. The card lacks a rookie emblem or the classic PMG look, but it still sold for $60,000 in June 2022. If McDavid can hoist a Stanley Cup, you can expect cards like these to skyrocket.

24. Wayne Gretzky 1980 O-Pee-Chee Base #250 PSA 10 — $60,400

Wayne Gretzky 1980 O Pee Chee

This is the first and only 2nd-year card to make this list and it comes from Wayne Gretzky via his 1980 O-Pee-Chee PSA 10 card. The card has a population of 35 and has sold twice in the past 12 months. The card sold for $60,400 in March before dropping nearly 52% in value after selling for $29,000 in July.

This card sold for just $5,000 last October and has had a rate of growth of 653% since June 2005.

23. Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby 2006-07 Upper Deck “The Cup” Dual NHL Shields Game-Used Patch Card 1/1 SGC 8 – $61,200

2006 07 UpperDeck The Cup Dual NHL Shields Alex Ovechkin Sidney Crosby
Heritage Auctions

Two game-worn shields? Check. Two titans of a generation on the same card? Check. This 2006-07 Upper Deck 1/1 is a grail for any 2010s hockey fan, and it’s the highest-selling copy for this pair on the same card.  Graded an SGC 8, it last traded for over $61,000 in November 2022.

22. Wayne Gretzky 2012-13 Fleer Retro 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems (PMG) Green /10 PSA 7 – $62,400

2012 13 Fleer Retro 1997 98 Metal Universe PMG Wayne Gretzky

Gretzky lacks a PMG from his playing days, so this copy from the 2012 Fleer Retro series will have to do. The green PMGs have a print run of only 10, making them even more exclusive than the red parallel. Given the hard, metallic surfaces of these cards, a PSA 7 grade is pretty outstanding. This copy popped for $62,700 during a Goldin auction in October 2022.

21. Georges Vezina 1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco #38 PSA 7 — $62,730

Georges  Vezina 1911 C55 Imperial Tobacco

Georges Vezina was a revered goalie who helped lead the Montreal Canadiens to two Stanley Cup Victories in 1916 and 1924. He was such a high performer that the NHL created an award named after him that honors the league’s best goaltenders called the Vezina Trophy

Vezina ultimately passed away from tuberculosis during his playing career, but his part in hockey history has not been forgotten. 

There are 9 copies of his rookie card graded PSA 7 and Goldin Auctions sold a copy of the card for $62,730 this past May.

20. Connor McDavid 2015-16 Upper Deck “The Cup” Foundations Rookie Patch Autograph 1/1 BGS 9 – $66,660

2015 16 UD The Cup Foundations Connor McDavid

Our first McDavid patch autograph is a 1/1 and includes a quadruple patch of the budding star. Two of the patches even have a piece of the laundry tag from the jersey, which gives this one more appeal. Although this Foundations RPA is a thicker card, it still graded a BGS 9 and sold for over $66,000 in 2021.

19. Connor McDavid 2015-16 Upper Deck Exquisite '03 Tribute Gold Spectrum Rookie Patch Autograph /5 BGS 9 – $72,000

2015 Exquisite 03 Tribute Gold Spectrum Connor McDavid
Mile High Cards

This McDavid rookie patch auto pays homage to the iconic 2003 Exquisite Basketball set, which featured rookies of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The sleek yet striking design has become a mainstay in Upper Deck products, and they even used it in limited fashion for 2015-16 hockey products. Limited to just five copies and graded a BGS 9, this one went for $72,000 at auction. 

18. Maurice Richard 1951 Parkhurst Base #4 PSA 8.5— $75,000

1951 Parkhurst Maurice Richard

Maurice Richard, nicknamed “The Rocket,” played for the Montreal Canadiens and was known for his goal-scoring abilities. He was the first NHL player to hit the 500 career goal mark (finishing with 544), won 8 Stanley Cups and earned the MVP award in 1947. He was a 14-time NHL All-Star and is a Hall of Famer (inducted in 1961).

This card has a population of just 3 (with only 5 copies graded higher) and was sold by Heritage Auctions in July of this year for $75,000. 

17. Mario Lemieux 1985 O-Pee-Chee Base #9 PSA 10 — $80,100

1985 Opeechee Mario Lemieux
Goldin Auctions

Mario Lemieux played 17 seasons in the NHL all with the Pittsburgh Penguins before becoming the owner of the franchise after purchasing the team in 1999. Lemieux won 2 Stanley Cups with the Penguins, 3 MVP awards and finished his career with 1,723 points. He ranks 8th in scoring all-time, even though he played less than 1,000 games.

Like Gretzky, Lemieux has both O-Pee-Chee and Topps rookie cards that look identical, but the O-Pee-Chee commands more value. This card has a population of 48 and was last sold on 9/18/21 for $52,800.

The card sold for $80,100 in January of this year, followed by two sales of $78,000 and $75,000 in the first week of February before dipping to $55,900 in March. This card has been sold 11 times in the past 12 months at an average price of $57,920. Similar to Gretzky cards with multiple record sales, the 9 sales after this record price have been excluded from this list. 

16. Connor McDavid 2015-16 SP Authentic Rookie Autograph BGS 10 – $85,100

2015 SP Authentic Connor McDavid BGS 10

Apart from his revered patch autographs, this is likely the best McDavid rookie to own. Many superstar players, like Tiger Woods and LeBron James, have a flagship rookie autograph from SP Authentic. This particular copy received the perfect 10-10 grade, and it was only one subgrade away from a Beckett Black Label. This impeccable on-card rookie autograph has sold for as high as $85,100.

15. Mario Lemieux/Sidney Crosby 2005-06 Upper Deck The Cup NHL Shields Game-Used Dual-Patch Card #1/1 PSA Authentic – $86,400

2005 06 UpperDeck The Cup Dual NHL Shields Mario Lemieux Sidney Crosby
Heritage Auctions

Just like the dual patch auto of Lemieux and Gretzky, this card also showcases two game-worn shields of NHL greats. However, this one indicates a passing-of-the-torch between the two best players to put on a Penguins jersey. Encapsulated in a PSa Authentic holder, It sold for $86,400 in May 2022. 

14. Bobby Hull 1958 Topps Base PSA 8 — $87,000

1958 topps Bobby Hull

There are just seven PSA 8 Bobby Hull 1958 Topps rookie cards in existence, with only two that have a higher grade. In December 2020, one of the copies of this card in a PSA 8 grade sold for $60,000 on eBay. But it is this $87,000 sale that takes the cake for the biggest Bobby Hull trading card.

Hull is a Hall of Famer who had a 15-year career in the NHL and played over 1,000 games for the Chicago Black Hawks, winning 1 Stanley Cup. He was nicknamed the “Golden Jet” and was known for his powerful slapshot, which reportedly reached speeds up to 118 miles per hour. Hull finished his career with 7 scoring titles, 12 All-Star nods, and back-to-back MVP seasons. 

He was ranked the 9th best hockey player of all time by Bleacher Report.

13. Wayne Gretzky/Mario Lemieux 2006-07 UD The Cup Dual NHL Shields Patch Autograph #1/1 BGS Authentic – $93,480

2006 07 UD The Cup Dual NHL Shields Wayne Gretzky Mario Lemieux

You cannot go wrong with a dual-Shield patch autograph of two of the most iconic players in the history of the game. Gretzky and Lemieux joined forces during the 1987 Canada Cup, sharing an onslaught of goals for their beloved national squad. Today, they are regarded as two of the premier scorers in hockey history, so it’s no wonder why this beautiful Beckett authentic piece sold for just north of $93,000.

12. Alexander Ovechkin 2005-06 Upper Deck "The Cup" Rookie Patch Autograph /99 BGS 9 – $105,780

200506 UpperDeck The Cup Alexander Ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin is perhaps the most beloved athlete in 21st-century D.C. sports. He brought a Stanley Cup trophy back to the DMV in 2018, and he has been a pivotal player on Capitals teams his whole career. This $105,000 rookie Ovechkin sale reflects the adoration that many fans have for “Ovi,” for he is one of the most collectible players in today’s game.

11. Connor McDavid 2020-21 Skybox Metal Universe "Precious Metal Gems" Gold 1/1 PSA 8 – $106,200

2020 21 Metal Universe 97 98 Retro Precious Metal Gems Connor McDavid
Heritage Auctions

Much like the Crosby from earlier, this McDavid PMG has unreal eye appeal. The design pays tribute to the 1997 Skybox Metal Universe set, which is one of the most iconic in all of the hobby. While that product didn’t feature a gold 1/1 parallel, this 2020-21 copy makes us wonder what a 1/1 PMG of Michael Jordan or Ken Griffey Jr. would have looked like.

This card last sold for $106,200 during a Goldin auction in April 2022.

10. Wayne Gretzky 2006-07 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures Logos Game-Used Patch Card #1/1 BGS 8 — $114,000

2006 07 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures Wayne Gretzky

Here is another shield patch autograph of Wayne Gretzky, but this one comes from the 2006-07 Exquisite set. Throughout all of sports, no set has been more universally heralded with Upper Deck Exquisite, and some of the biggest cards ever stem from this product. While this BGS 8 copy may not stand atop any record books, it still sold for $114,000 – not a bad chunk of change.

9. Sydney Crosby 2005-06 Upper Deck “The Cup” Rookie Patch Autograph /99 BGS 10 – $125,200

2005 06 The Cup Sidney Crosby

Crosby is a 3-time Stanley Cup winner and has played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s still an active player and has been nicknamed “The Next One”. He’s been voted the MVP of the Penguins 9 times and is 3rd all-time for the most point-per-game seasons in the NHL (Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky are the only players ahead of him in that category). He also won his first NHL MVP when he was still a teenager.

Crosby’s “The Cup” rookie patch auto card (numbered to just 99 copies) was sold via eBay on 2/26/2019 for $80,287.

8. Connor McDavid 2015 Upper Deck “The Cup” Exquisite Rookie Patch Autograph /97 PSA 10 – $144,000

2015 The Cup Exquisite Collection Connor McDavid
Goldin Auctions | Note: The card pictured wasn’t the specific copy that sold.

This Exquisite patch auto of McDavid features one of the most glorious patches you will ever see. Thicker cards, especially those with intricate designs, are notoriously difficult to grade. Seeing this stunner get a perfect 10-10 grade only adds to its allure. Interestingly enough, this RPA subset from “The Cup” is numbered to just 97 copies, which is the Oilers star’s jersey number.

It sold for a whopping $144,000 in February 2022.

7. Wayne Gretzky 2004 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection NHL Shield Patch Autograph – $145,000

2004 Ultimate Collection Wayne Gretzky AUTO NHL SHIELD

At #7, we have our first shield patch on the list, and who could it be besides the Great One? When you think about the rarity of a game-used Gretzky shield, it puts this $145,000 sale in quite the perspective. Gretzky is an undisputed GOAT for the game of ice hockey, and these are pieces that just do not surface that often. Those that do will likely end up on this list.

6. Sydney Crosby 2020-21 Skybox Metal Universe "Precious Metal Gems" Gold 1/1 PSA 8 – $164,000

2020 21 Skybox Metal Universe PMG Gold Sidney Crosby

You may wonder why a non-rookie 1/1 is Sydney Crosby’s most expensive trading card. Yet, aesthetically speaking, you won’t find a sharper-looking piece of cardboard on this list. The gold foil contrasts perfectly with the superstar’s iconic Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. We’ve talked extensively about the influence of Precious Metal Gems (PMGs) within the hobby, and this $164,000 sale is a prime example.

5. Gordie Howe 1951-52 Parkhurst #66 Rookie PSA 8.5 – $205,200

1951 52 Parkhurst Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe was known as “Mr. Hockey” and, statistically speaking, he may have been an even better hockey player than Wayne Gretzky. Howe played in 1,767 games across 26 NHL seasons, with 25 of them spent with the Detroit Red Wings. Howe’s 26 seasons in the NHL is a record that he shares with defenseman Chris Chelios. He holds the record for the oldest player to ever play in an NHL game, which he accomplished at the age of 52.

His 1951 Parkhurst card is often recognized as his top rookie card and sold for as high as $205,200 on May 24th, 2021. 

The card has a population of just two in a PSA 8.5 grade, and there is only one higher-graded copy in existence.

4. Connor McDavid 2015 Upper Deck “The Cup” Rookie Patch Autograph /99 PSA 10 – $228,000

2015 UpperDeck The Cup Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid, at just 26 years old, is a two-time MVP winner and has already scored an impressive 294 goals in only 554 games played. He’s yet to win a Stanley Cup but has played in several pivotal playoff series. He’s a rising star with plenty of time left in his career. His 2015 Upper Deck The Cup Rookie Patch Autograph PSA 10 set a record for the biggest modern hockey sale ever, closing at $228,000 during a 2022 Heritage auction.The card has a population of just two copies in a PSA 10 grade. You can watch the video of the card being pulled from a live break below.

3. Bobby Orr 1966 Topps #35 Rookie BVG 10 – $276,000

1966 Topps Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr was a defenseman for the Boston Bruins and was the first in his position to lead the NHL in scoring. Orr helped take the Bruins to the playoffs in 8 straight seasons and ultimately won 2 Stanley Cups. He was named MVP 3 times and was named the NHL’s best defenseman for 8 seasons straight. 

Bleacher Report ranked Orr as the 3rd best NHL player of all time. 

This Beckett Vintage Pristine 10 is an immaculate grade for a vintage card. The wood-grain border on Orr’s rookie makes this one tricky when it comes to condition. Nevertheless, this perfect grade remains a true anomaly, and it sold for $276,000 in 2021.

2. Wayne Gretzky 1979 Topps #18 PSA 10 — $1.2 Million

1979 Topps Wayne Gretzky PSA 10

In December 2020, Heritage Auctions sold a PSA 10 copy of Wayne Gretzky’s rookie O-Pee-Chee card for $1.29 million. At the time, it was the first hockey card to break $1 million and was the most expensive hockey card ever sold. Now, there have been three 1 million dollar hockey sales, cementing the hockey market within the hobby.

Back in August 2016, the card sold for $465,000. In less than 7 years, this 1979 Topps rookie grew 158% in value. However, this is only a third of the highest O-Pee-Chee sale price, which begs the question: why would the O-Pee-Chee sell for three times more than the Topps version if they are similar in rarity?

There may be a few reasons (but it does not mean the market won’t change its mind in the future). Ultimately, true rookies are determined by the opinions of the market (sellers and buyers) but the difference in value starts with the fact that O-Pee-Chee was a Canadian candy company. O-Pee-Chee entered an agreement with Topps and produced trading card sets dating back to the 1930s until the business was sold to Nestlé in 1996. 

Gretzky was born in Canada and some argue this alone warrants the O-Pee-Chee the edge in defining his “true” rookie card. 

There are also slight differences on the back of the card, including some French translations on the back of the O-Pee-Chee card (pictured left):

gretzky back

1. Wayne Gretzky 1979 O-Pee-Chee Base #18 PSA 10 — $3.75 million

1979 80 O Pee Chee Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky was nicknamed “The Great One” and is considered to be the best hockey player of all time. He won 4 Stanley Cups and holds numerous records that will likely stay unbroken for a long, long time. Possibly forever. 

His rookie O-Pee-Chee card has been graded 7,298 times by PSA and only 2 copies have ever received a PSA 10 grade. It’s no surprise that this card tops our list (and will be seen again in this list from previous sales and lower graded copies setting records). Heritage Auctions privately sold the card this past May for $3.75 million. 

Back in April of 2011, the card sold for $94,160. In just about 10 years, the card increased in value by 3,882% and saw a rapid increase in value over the past 12 months. 

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