To start the year off right, I think it's best to look back on what was accomplished in the last year. I didn't know what to expect coming into 2022, but I think I did very well.
Here are my Top 10 additions in 2022:
10) 2002-03 UD Mask Collection Nation's Best
Since I knew of it's existence, this was a set I've always enjoyed. I was fortunate enough to spot one at the 2022 Fall Expo in Toronto and make a quick deal. That's the best thing about card shows - You just never know what you're going to find, but more on that later...
9) 2006-07 ITG International Ice - Vladislav Tretiak Game-Used Jersey Card
As a fan of the goaltending position, you can't help but pay attention to Tretiak. Coming from a different time period, he was arguably the best goalie in the world to never make it to the NHL. While he had an impressive hockey career, especially during international play, his career may remain the biggest "what if?" stories.
I've wanted a game-worn card of his for a long time, so to find a piece during the final month of 2022 was a nice bit of timing. I am also a fan of the older ITG designs, especially ones that feature players on their national team. All in all, this is a really cool card.
8) 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces Brushstrokes Autographs - Manon Rheaume
When looking at the athletes who paved the way for others during their career, it's hard not to start the list without naming Manon Rheaume. For those who aren't aware, Rheaume became the first women to play in the NHL when she suited up with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992.
This card pictured above is also a nice one. Coming from the 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces set, it probably stands out from any other card you've recently looked at. When I first saw this set back in 2008, it was the first time I'd seen art and cards blended together so well. After years are trying to find one at a price point that made sense, I stumbled upon one at the 2022 Spring Expo and happily added it to my goalie collection.
7) 2022 President's Choice In The Crease Nameplate 1/1 - Jhonas Enroth
Nameplate cards are awesome.
New nameplate cards are even awesome-er (?). Brian Price of President's Choice Trading Cards came out with a new all-goalie product that featured these sweet nameplate cards. Having the chance to grab brand new Enroth cards in 2022 was unexpected, but much appreciated. I managed to snag this letter 'R' shortly after the product released, making it my 4th game-used nameplate card in my collection.
6) 2016 Jhonas Enroth Game-Worn Toronto Maple Leafs Home & Away Set
Another Toronto Expo find makes this Top 10 countdown.
Shortly before the Expo, I messaged Real Sports to see if they would have any of the 2016-17 Maple Leafs memorabilia at the show, and to keep an eye out for any Enroth sweaters. Since they were gearing up for a big show, I didn't receive a reply, which was very understandable. Due to the jerseys being a few years old, I figured inventory was long-gone.
During Expo weekend, I managed to find the Real Sports booth and spoke to one of the associates. To my surprise, this was the show they brought out the majority of their 2016-17 season stock of memorabilia to offer it to the public for the first time. After hearing this, I immediately asked if a Enroth jersey was available, they told me they did, but they were already sold. Disappointed, but not shocked, I thanked him for his time. The associate apologized and said they "were put on hold for Aaron earlier" and were long gone.
"I'm Aaron...", I replied.
After hearing this, they pulled me aside and pulled out not one, but TWO of Enroth's jerseys with his short time with the Maple Leafs. My guess is they put in on hold for me prior to the show and wanted to keep them out of inventory so I could snag them, but I thought the timing of everything was very funny.
Aside from this funny acquisition story, I was thrilled to retrieve these two pieces for my collection. As a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, it doesn't get much better than this.
5) Jhonas Enroth 2013-14 ITG Between The Pipes One Of A Kind 1/1
Great card with an even better patch.
This card was obtained by the help of my good buddy Eric, who I co-host a podcast with.
The patch is from the Buffalo Sabres' 40th Anniversary jersey's, and it's one of the best patches in my entire collection. Just wicked.
4) Jhonas Enroth 2012 Team Sweden Game-Worn Jersey
I managed to add a total of 5 game-used Jhonas Enroth jerseys to the collection this year, which wasn't on my to-do list for this collection, but it was a lot of fun. While hockey cards are my thing, finding these pieces and how/when they were used is always fun.
Number 4 on this list is probably a big want for any memorabilia hunter, but I managed to obtain one of Enroth's 2012 Team Sweden jersey's back in the summer.
This jersey was used in a handful of games during some international tournaments in 2012. It features a lot of wear and puck marks, making it that much more interesting. I've always been a fan of the Swedish sweaters, so to have one in my collection is some next level stuff.
3) Jhonas Enroth 2022 President's Choice - Solid Gold - Jumbo Memorabilia 1/1
Solid Gold brought a lot of sweet cards into the market... Including this sweet 1/1 Enroth Jumbo Memorabilia card. This card features a nice branded CCM / Lefevre swatch from the inside cuff of the catching glove.
I also added my 60th 1 of 1 card to my collection this year as well, which is a milestone I never thought I'd ever eclipse when I started this collection. Just goes to show, you just never know what this hobby might bring.
2) President's Choice The Vezina Collection Trophy Winners /5
The 'Chicoutimi Cucumber', also known as Georges Vezina, is often compared to be the era-equivalent to what Honus Wagner was to baseball.
When it comes to early legends of the sport, it's also fun to add one of their cards - especially a game-used memorabilia version.
The Vezina Collection, released by Dr. Brian Price of President's Choice, was quickly given the unofficial 'best product of all-time' crown when this product was released. Featuring a game-used piece of Georges Vezina memorabilia in every box was something that was unheard of. The product was broken by many, but dried up fast due to it's rarity and limited distribution.
I finally was able to make a deal for my very first piece of Vezina memorabilia at the start of 2022 and it quickly become one of my favoruite cards in my collection. It's not everyday that you can add memorabilia that is over 100 years old! Rumour has it that these pads used to create the memorabilia pieces were from the only set of leg pads Vezina used in his career. When it comes to vintage memorabilia, I don't think anything beats a Vezina.
1) Jhonas Enroth 2022 President's Choice In The Crease Complete Logo 1/1 NHL Shield
After over 10 years of collecting Enroth's cards, I never thought a game-used NHL Shield card would be possible. With the release of In The Crease, the possibility was there. With the help of Player's Choice Sports Cards for pulling this card, it is now home.
Glad to end the year on such a high note. If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. It's collectors like you that keep this hobby fun!
If you have any pickups favourite cards you've picked up this year (yes, even it's not 2022 anymore), please feel free to share them with me.
- Aaron / creasecollector
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting Hockey cards since the late 90's. Mainly the goalies since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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