I just recently picked up a lot on Ebay of 9 different cards of Penguins breakout star James Neal for just 7 bucks shipped. I decided to pursue some cards of his after seeing how well he played this season, getting the second most points on the team, with 40 goals and 41 assists during the regular season.
What first drew me to this lot was a jersey relic from 11-12 Pinnacle, which features him in his Penguins uniform. Between his former team, the Stars, and his current team, it would be difficult to tell which team the swatch came from, but it's good, in a way, because if they don't match up, there's no way to tell, and it looks much better. There's a little bit of damage to the top corner, which is a disappointment, but not a big enough deal to cause a fuss over. Maybe I'll see if Panini will replace it.
Also in the lot was his Upper Deck Young Guns rookie cards from 08-09 Upper Deck Series 1. For those unfamiliar with hockey products, Young Guns is basically THE rookie card to get. Unlike baseball, most hockey products short print their rookies, which gives them a great value, but it makes it difficult to complete the set, especially when that year's big rookie will run you a good $70-$80. The Sidney Crosby from 05-06 sells on Ebay for $300-$400. Needless to say, I was VERY happy to get my hands on this card.
Here's the rest. To start, there's a card from 05-06 ITG Heroes & Prospects. Neal was about 17 at the time and playing for the OHL's Plymouth Whalers. From his short stint with the Stars there was, a 10-11 Victory (blah) and 10-11 SP Authentic (cool), but really, I wanted some James Neal Penguins cards. Featuring him with his current team, there is 11-12 Upper Deck Victory, 11-12 Pinnacle, 11-12 Upper Deck, and two copies of 11-12 Black Diamond. All look cool, and with a picture of him in the blue alternate jerseys, I even like the UD Victory card.
That's what I have for now. After this season's performance, I put Neal in my Starting Six. Unfortunately, I had to bump Jordan Staal off, which is a shame, because I seem to be pulling him like crazy. Maybe downgrading Staal will even increase my chances of pulling some good stuff of his. That's how it usually goes, at least.