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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Lost Rookies: 1988-89 OPC Adam Graves

  For some reason I always group  Adam Graves  and Ray Sheppard together as the same type of player and career.  They both debuted in the NHL in 1987-88.  They both played for the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers early in their careers.  In 1993-94, they both set a career high with 52 goals.  Their second best total was 38 goals each.  Both were goal scorers who had more goals then assists.  Both signed as free agents in 1991 to the teams they had their most success with during their career.
  Graves did have a longer career, 1124 GP vs 817 GP to Sheppard.  Was a grittier player, earning 1224 PIM to Ray's 212.  Graves also was a 2nd Team All-Star in 1994 and is a two time Stanley Cup Champion.  Still, the similarities are close enough to give credence as to why I associate the two so closely.
  One difference I didn't mention was that Sheppard made an immediate splash in the NHL, as a runner-up for the Calder trophy in 1988, and earning himself cards in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 OPC sets.  On the other hand, Graves's career started out much slower and he didn't get a rookie card until the 1990 card boom.  So to try to even up the scorecard on the Graves-Sheppard similarities, here's a 1988-89 OPC Lost Card of Adam Graves, as well as a 89-90 OPC.

1988-89 OPC #269 OPC Adam Graves (RC)

1988-89 OPC #269 Adam Graves (RC)

1989-90 OPC Adam Graves

1 comment:

  1. Nice-looking customs, especially the 1988-89 version. Interesting connection between the two players, as well!

    I'll always remember Graves having that monster season for the Rangers, just in time for their Stanley Cup year. Almost forgot that he helped Edmonton win a cup a few years earlier.