Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is one of only two unanimous Hart Trophy winners in league history and is widely seen as the best player in the NHL.
This has led to multiple comparisons to the great Wayne Gretzky, while McDavid has lived up to his early promise so far.
We’ve come up with a list containing 10 of the greatest Connor McDavid rookie cards ever produced, as well as investment advice as he enters a key stage of his career.
10 Greatest Connor McDavid Rookie Cards
McDavid was drafted first overall in 2015 by the Oilers, so that’s where you’ll find his many RCs. As you may have guessed, he’s the key to many of the sets released that year.
10. 2015-16 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Connor McDavid Glossy Rookies #R-1
There’s a distinctly retro design found with 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Hockey, which contains a McDavid RC with a slick action shot of the player in his Oilers uniform.
Inserted into Upper Deck Series 2, the update set is where the big name 2015-16 rookies got their first O-Pee-Chee rookie cards.
As the name implies, the card is given a gloss finish, to go with the silver chrome ‘Glossy Rookies’ logo located at the base. Parallels include red and black versions, which change the color of the outer border.
9. 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Connor McDavid RC #190
The base McDavid Rookie Auto found in 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Platinum sets was released at a rate of 1:704 packs. It looks a lot like Topps Chrome cards from that year, and comes with a long list of parallels.
One of the more affordable signed McDavid cards, it’s still worth a fair amount if it’s wrapped in a PSA/BGS sleeve.
Parallels: Traxx (/125), White Ice (/99), Red Prism (/75), Black Ice (/50), Blue Cubes (/35) (Hobby), Seismic Gold (/25) (Hobby), Rainbow Purple (/15), Emerald Surge (/10), Golden Treasures (1/1)
8. 2015-16 SP Authentic Connor McDavid RC #226 Autograph #/999
Next up is one of the more plentiful McDavid RC autos, with a print run of 999. Despite the large supply, it’s still one of the more valuable options on the market, mostly due to the popularity of the SP brand.
The Future Watch subset is always a hit with collectors and comes with an orange and blue motif to match his uniform. There’s an on-card auto, while the serial number is found on the front of the card.
Parallels: Limited Patch Autographs (/100)
7. 2015-16 SP Game Used Connor McDavid RC #197 #/97
The 2015-16 SP Game Used is the rarest McDavid RC, which is always going to have an impact on the asking price for graded versions.
Limited to just 97 copies, it matches his jersey number and features a simple shot of the player as he watches the action unfold.
Parallels: Autographs Blue, Copper Jersey (/399), Spectrum Materials (/99), Autographs (1/1)
6. 2015-16 SPx Autographed Jersey Connor McDavid RC #169 #/399
Another SP release features a traditional design in the form of a large X found in the middle of the card, with the jersey patch displayed in small sections. Essentially, there are four mini-patches, rather than a single oversized swatch.
As with many of the others on this list, the addition of an on-card auto helps to make it one of the better hockey investments overall. The base version has 399 copies, so it’s reasonably plentiful.
Parallels: Red (/50), Green (/10)
5. 2015-16 Ultimate Collection Connor McDavid RC #109 Autograph /99
The 2015-16 Ultimate Collection McDavid RC is also serial numbered, this time to 99.
This means it’s another rare version that is deserving of its place on this list, while the addition of an on-card auto increases the value of base copies. (However, some parallels lack an autograph, while Silver Jersey has a higher print run than the base card.)
Parallels: Silver Jersey (/149), Spectrum Silver Jersey Autograph (/49), Gold Patch (/25), Spectrum Gold Patch Autograph (/10), Platinum Blue Tag (/5), Spectrum Teal Autograph Shield (1/1)
4. 2015-16 UD Black Diamond Connor McDavid RC Rookie /99 #BDRCM
A collection with a strong focus on the rookie class of 2015-16, Black Diamond Hockey has a range of McDavid cards to choose from.
The Diamond Rookies set is the most interesting, limited to 99 copies with just two rare parallels. The name was taken literally, as they added real bling to the cards.
Of course, this means that they’re at the higher end compared to other premium McDavid RCs.
Parallels: Gold Diamond (/5), Pure Black Diamond 1/1
3. 2015-16 UD Ultimate Debut Threads Connor McDavid RPA /10 #ADT-CM
2015-16 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey contains a rare McDavid RPA, with a base version limited to only 99 copies.
Instead of the base Autographed Debut Threads Jersey, we’re looking at the Patch parallel, numbered to 10.
The materials take center stage, with an on-card auto at the bottom.
As you may have guessed, the addition of a patch, (along with fewer copies) means that it’s worth 2-3 times as much as the base version. Either is especially valuable when wrapped in a slab by the likes of BGS.
2. 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 Young Guns Connor McDavid RC #201
The 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 set is up next, specifically the famous Young Guns subset. As most collectors know, the flagship release is often favored due to the sheer power of the brand.
It has a customary full-bleed action shot, as well as silver chrome used for the UD logo and the Young Guns logo at the bottom of the card.
Given the lack of a serial number and a large print run, there are a significant number of copies available at any given time. In terms of investments, there aren’t much better.
Parallels: Acetate, Foil, Exclusives (/100), High Gloss (/10), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
1. 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Precious Metal Gems Connor McDavid RC /150
The 2015-16 Fleer Showcase features Precious Metal Gems, which is a special subset of 30 cards famed for their unique chrome finish and vintage appeal.
The Precious Metal Gems (or PMGs) are some of the most popular cards you’ll find no matter the sport. The Red version is limited to 150 copies and is seen as the base edition.
There are also Blue, Green, and Purple PMG McDavid RCs, increasing in rarity each time.
Parallels: Red PMG (/150), Blue PMG (/50), Green PMG (/10), Purple PMG (/5)
1a. 2015-16 Connor McDavid The Cup Rookie Foundations /15 #CFCM
The top spot is reserved for one of the most expensive modern hockey cards you’ll find on the market.
If you’re interested in the best Connor McDavid RC, look no further than the 2015-16 Upper Deck The Cup.
We’re looking at the Cup Foundations Quad Jersey subset, which has an autographed parallel with a print run of just 15.
It has an on-card auto, a large quad patch, and benefits from strong brand recognition. We think it has great potential to blow up in the future.
Connor McDavid Rookie Cards: Investment Outlook
McDavid looks to be one of the best investment options of the current crop of hockey players, although that’s reflected in the average asking price for any of his RCs that have managed to make the list.
That’s not to say that they aren’t worth it, just that they’re some of the most expensive hockey rookie cards released in recent years.
Even if you think that McDavid has what it takes to be the GOAT, he still needs to add a Stanley Cup win to cement his legacy. A historic 2020-21 season is a good foundation to build from, and a championship would cause values to rise.
Prices have already broken records in recent years, so we’d keep an eye on their progress in the meantime.