Whether you consider his first year of professional hockey with the Indianapolis Racers and Edmonton Oilers of the WHA in 1978-79 or the next year, his first in the NHL, to be Wayne Gretzky's rookie year, one thing we can all agree on is that it was something special. It's one reason why this site exists. The first Gretzky rookie card represents the dawn of what is the greatest individual career in NHL history.
The Great One scored 46 goals in his first year of professional hockey, proving to be a dominant force in the Oilers’ run for the WHA Championship. When the WHA folded and the Edmonton Oilers (along with the Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques and Hartford Whalers) were merged into the NHL, Wayne Gretzky had an immediate impact in that league, tying the legendary Marcel Dionne for most points in the league with 137.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that anyone didn’t see Wayne Gretzky’s greatness coming right from the start. But the man who would go on to shatter every significant scoring record in the NHL had his share of critics. Many didn’t think he was big enough, strong enough, tough enough or even athletic enough to make the kind of impact in the NHL as he had made in the WHA. Clearly, they were wrong.
Gretzky was not eligible for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in his premier NHL season because he had already played a season of professional hockey in the WHA. That honor went instead to Ray Borque instead.
If any proof is needed that the real Rookie of the Year wore number 99, it can be laid to rest by the fact that he won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the entire NHL. He would go on to win the award the next seven years in a row and a total of nine times in his career for good measure. His nine MVP awards are more than any other athlete in any of the major sports.
The Gretzky rookie year stands alone. And for collectors, there’s no better prize than a hockey card from his rookie year. Even if you can’t get your hands on a $94,000 OPC 10-graded pristine copy (and since there’s only one known to exist, chances are you can’t, even if you have the money), there are plenty of quality gem mint, mint, and near mint Gretzky rookie cards available. All are highly collectable and poised to continue growing in value. For the best links to an available Gretzky rookie card, you've come to the right place.