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NHL Rookies Get Artsy for Panini America’s Unique 2011 Toronto Fall Expo Sketch Cards

November 9, 2011

You heard it here first: If this newest class of NHL rookies doesn’t cut it in the league for some crazy reason, there’s always the world of fine art. Indeed, as you’ll soon see, many of the top young prospects in the game are as impressive with a Sharpie in their hands as they are with a stick.

And beginning Friday at the 2011 Toronto Fall Expo, we’re going to put some of their fine work on display for the collecting world to see.

We discovered firsthand during the 2011 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in August just how creative these kids could be by presenting the 26 youngsters in attendance with a handful of blank white cards and told them, using our best manners, “sketch something.”

The likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Cody Eakin and Blake Geoffrion did not disappoint, dazzling us with hand-crafted masterpieces depicting their NHL aspirations, their hobbies and even their favorite pregame meal (in the case of Landeskog). They also signed the back of each masterpiece, creating some of the most entertaining, personality-revealing hockey cards you’ve ever seen. (But don’t take our word for it. Check out the preview gallery below.)

A small handful of these original sketch cards will be available to collectors for the first time starting Friday during Panini America’s 2011 Toronto Fall Expo wrapper-redemption program.

But if you’re not lucky enough to pull, say, a Nugent-Hopkins original this weekend, don’t worry. We’ll be releasing these beauties throughout the season, so stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for details on future exhibits.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Gilman permalink
    November 9, 2011 6:33 pm

    Cant believe no comments yet. These are so cool and unique. Who wouldn’t want to own one for their own collection??

  2. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    November 9, 2011 6:35 pm

    These are very nice. And they are encased and framed like a collectible work of art!!

  3. Ryan Chan permalink
    November 9, 2011 6:51 pm

    Hey Tracy, which player(s) (NFL, NHL, NBA etc) who has done one of these sketch card, would you say did the best work in your opinion?

    • November 9, 2011 7:06 pm

      A few that come immediately to mind are Mark Ingram and Blaine Gabbert on the NFL side. On the NHL side, a lot of guys went above and beyond, but Gabriel Landeskog stands out. There a lot of great ones we haven’t shown yet, too.

      • Matt Gilman permalink
        November 10, 2011 4:34 am

        I remember the Ingram one. That one was good

  4. Jon Martin permalink
    November 9, 2011 8:06 pm

    It`s always nice to see that there is a lighter sense to all the cardboard that comes out. A couple of those are pretty amusing. One of them very reminiscent of a certain Byfuglien sketch card.

    Wish I could go to the expo. Sigh….

  5. Artie permalink
    November 10, 2011 12:01 am

    These guys really like to fish, huh?

  6. November 10, 2011 10:45 am

    The way the top images are cropped it looks like a slice of watermelon and “anger”.

  7. Bill permalink
    November 10, 2011 3:42 pm

    Wow…they need to make art lessons part of the rookie symposium.

  8. GAP permalink
    November 12, 2011 10:24 am

    Cody Eakin! SNAP!

  9. Eric K permalink
    November 13, 2011 7:53 pm

    Good thing these kids can play Hockey!!!!

  10. Mike permalink
    December 8, 2011 12:53 pm

    Any collector has to have one of these. I watched the video of the Expo and was Impressed.

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