Off The Post Blog
I blog about the NHL, including players. I also write articles relating to collecting hockey cards.
mathew barzal

Mathew Barzal was drafted 16th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. He stands 6′ tall and weighs 190 pounds. He turned 21 on May 26 of this year. Mathew was born in Coquitlam, BC.

Barzal spent most of his even strength ice time with Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier last season, Andrew Ladd also saw time on his line replacing Beauvillier. He was also on the Powerplay with Josh Bailey, John Tavares and Anders Lee. Mathew finished the 2017-18 season with 22 goals and 63 assists for 85 points, which place him 14th in league scoring. Mathew had 5 goals and 22 assists on the PP. Mathew also recorded 4 game winning goals. He averaged 17:46 of time on ice per game.

All of this in only his first full season in the NHL. His stats and on ice performance were good enough to garner NHL rookie of the year honors. He finished 20 points ahead of Clayton Keller who was the next closest behind him.

Mathew also recorded three, five point games. That hasn’t been done since Joe Malone accomplished the feat back in 1917. When asked about his performances in those three games Mathew had this to say;

“They’re all a little different,” he explained. “I had some lucky bounces against Colorado. My first two periods against Detroit were probably my worst of the year. The Rangers game is my favorite, just because it was at MSG against a rival. I’m just happy we won all of those games.”


When asked which arena’s he likes most in the NHL Mathew replied;

“I really liked the whole set-up and feel of the rink in Minnesota,” Barzal explained. “In Chicago, it was the anthem. The whole building was shaking with the fans making noise. I was thinking, ‘What is going on right now?’ But Vegas was the best. It was nuts. It wasn’t even just the city; it felt like a club in the venue of the game (T-Mobile Arena). That was a fun game to play in.”


Fast forward to 2018-19. Mathew Barzal is now playing on a line with Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey. Mathew has 1 goal and six assists to start the season in 7 games. Last year he recorded 1.05 points per game so he is right on pace for another 80 points plus season.

You can purchase Mathew Barzal hockey cards from my store Off The Post If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact me, and I will track down the item you would like to have.


Hockey Cards


mathew barzal  

connor hellebuyck

Connor Hellebuyck was drafted in the 5th round, 130 overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. He is now 25 years old. Connor stands 6’4″tall and weighs around 207 pounds.Wears the catching glove on the left hand.

Who is this guy? Where the hell did he come from? Those were words I was saying to myself half way through the 2017-18 season. I couldn’t believe the season he was having. I remember hearing about him the previous season but didn’t pay much attention to him. Half way into January of 2018 Connor Hellebuyck had a win loss record of 23-6-6. His save percentage was .922 and he posted a 2.40 GAA. I saw those numbers and said to myself, I must be mistaken somehow, how could I have missed this guy? He must have been drafted in the first round and I just don’t remember.

Nope! He was drafted in the fifth round. Think about it this way. Approximately 12 percent of NHL draft picks, picked in the 3rd round and beyond make it to the NHL. That value would be about 9 percent of 5th round draft picks actually play in the league. Those odds are even lower for goaltenders. Goaltenders are like pitchers in baseball, they seem to grow on trees but not many make it.

So what exactly is the value of a fifth round pick? Rather than re-invent the wheel I will send you to a page that is well done. You can visit that page here.

So, back to Connor Hellebuyck. He finished the 2017-18 season the same way he started it. Connor finished with a win loss record of 44-11-9. Posted a solid save percentage of .924 and a GAA of 2.36.

The 44 wins were enough to set and pass Tom Barrasso for most wins in the NHL by an American born goaltender. Lets not forget one more important fact about Connor Hellebuyck. Last year was his first season as a number one goaltender. For a fifth round draft pick that is truly incredible.

The Winnipeg Jets were so impressed by Hellebuyck that the two sides agreed on a new contract extension. July 12, 2018 Hellebuyck signed a six year deal worth 37 million. The Cap hit will be $6.167 AAV.

You can purchase Connor Hellebuyck hockey cards from my store Off The Post If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact me, and I will track down the item you would like to have.

Connor Hellebuyck Highlights

austin matthews

Austin Matthews was drafted 1st overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Austin was born in September of 1997 and is currently 21 years old. He stands 6’3″and tips the scales at 220 pounds.

Austin is currently ripping up the NHL. He has 14 points in his first 6 games of the 2018-19 season including 10 goals. He is playing on a line with Kasperi Kapanen and Patrick Marleau. Of the 14 points he has 5 have come on the powerplay. Kapanen has six points thus far and Marleau has four. Matthews plays 18:35 minutes a game with 2:23 of that being on the PP.

There has been a lot of hoopla going on over the hot start of the Leafs and Matthews. I would like to point out that 5 of his six games have come against teams that missed the playoffs last year. His shooting percentage is currently 50 percent. His first year in the league he had a shooting percentage of 14.3% and his second year in the league he increased that to 18.2 percent. To think that he can sustain a 50% shooting percentage would be insane. He is going to regress in that regard.

There are people on twitter that are saying he is better than Connor McDavid and Wayne Gretzky. For example Ray Ferraro of TSN recently tweeted out the following.

To be clear … McDavid is 1, Matthews 1a or 1b .. however it’s supposed to be stated. That’s my opinion

It may be Ray’s opinion but it isn’t any where near accurate. McDavid has 2 Art Ross Trophy’s under his belt and a Hart Trophy. McDavid has also won the Ted Lindsay Trophy twice. McDavid has scored over a 100 points twice. Matthews highest scoring season was 69 points two years ago. McDavid is only 22 years old. Matthews has no NHL Trophy’s to his name. You want a direct comparison? McDavid has scored at a rate of 1.229 points per game since coming into the NHL, Matthews is at 0.960 and that includes his tear to start this season. There it is. IF Matthews was a “1A” he should at least be above a point per game but he isn’t. Don’t even get me started about some media comments that he is better than Gretzky. When Matthews scores 92 goals and 215 points in a season let me know. There is no way he can sustain his current pace, it just isn’t feasible.

You can purchase Austin Matthews hockey cards from my store Off The Post If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact me, and I will track down the item you would like to have.

Austin Matthews Hockey Cards

austin matthews  austin matthews

erik karlsson

The hockey world was rocked on September 14, 2018 when the Ottawa Senators did the unthinkable and traded two time Norris winner Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks. The events leading up to the trade would like to be avoided by all parties involved I am sure. Karlsson will be a free agent on July 1st, 2019, unless he signs an extension before then.

There had been allegations by Melinda Karlsson accusing Monika Caryk (Mike Hoffman’s girlfriend) of harassment against the Karlsson’s. The Ottawa Citizen, a local Ottawa newspaper has mentioned that there is an active ongoing criminal investigation into the harassment and or stalking allegations. I am not going to go into detail on how this all happened. Here is a link to the Ottawa Citizen article.

The Senators sent Karlsson to the Sharks in exchange for Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, prospect forward Josh Norris and two conditional draft picks. If San Jose re-signs Karlsson, Ottawa receives a conditional 2021 second-round selection — or a first-round pick (not lottery protected) if the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup final in 2019. The Senators also gave up Francis Perron in the deal.

In a news conference after the trade Karlsson had this to say.

“I wish we were standing here in different circumstances. It’s an emotional and sad day,” said Karlsson in an emotional news conference. “I don’t think that I’ve ever in my wildest imagination thought that I would ever leave this place. But, unfortunately, we’re here under these circumstances and, again, that’s not something I’m going to go into detail about. I was prepared to come here and work hard for this team. I still have a year left on my deal but unfortunately I couldn’t follow that through.”

San Jose Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson had this to say after making the deal.

“It’s extremely rare that players of this calibre become available,” The word elite is often thrown around casually but Erik’s skill-set and abilities fit that description like few other players in today’s game. With Erik, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, we feel we have three of the NHL’s top defencemen and stand as a better team today than we were yesterday. We are thrilled to welcome Erik and his wife, Melinda, to San Jose.”

Erik Karlsson is now 28 years old and in the prime of his career. Erik was drafted in the first round, 15th overall by the Senators in 2008. Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty went #1 and #2 in 2008. Lots of teams passed on Karlsson. Kicking themselves now. Erik Karlsson plays almost 28 minutes per 60. He has averaged 76 points a season over the last three seasons. Erik plays 4 minutes a night on the PP on average and has posted 25 points a year on the PP on average over the last three seasons.

Edmonton Oiler GM, Peter Chiarelli had this to say about the trade.

“I won’t lie. When he came to our division there was a little bit of an expletive coming out of my mouth. But, you know, he’d be nice to have here. We weren’t on his list. It was really a non-starter from the beginning. But they got one puck over there, they got a lot of good defenceman. So we’ll see what happens there. But that’s a heckuva ‘d’ over there now… Certainly they’ve strengthened their team.”

Erik Karlsson joining the San Jose Sharks is downright scary. San Jose already boasts the second best blue-liner in the game in Brent Burns. Now they will have the top 2 defenseman in the league and like Doug Wilson mentioned earlier, Marc-Edouard Vlasic is no slouch. Look out Western Conference and especially the Pacific division. There is a new sheriff in the conference and his name is Erik Karlsson. I am not the coach of the Sharks but one has to think they will pair Karlsson with Vlasic and Burns with Braun. Wow that is a formidable top 4.

You can purchase Erik Karlsson hockey cards from my store Off The Post If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact me, and I will track down the item you would like to have.

Erik Karlsson Hockey Cards

erik karlsson  erik karlsson  

victor hedman

Victor Hedman was selected second overall in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. John Tavares was selected first overall by the New York Islanders. Duchene was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche third overall. That is a bundle of talent in the first few picks. Other notable picks from the first round of the 2009 draft are; Brayden Schenn, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Evander Kane, Nazem Kadri and Ryan Ellis.

Victor Hedman finished last season with 17 goals and 46 assists for 63 points. Hedman tallied 26 points on the power play. This marks his second straight season producing over 60 points from the back-end. Victor is on the ice for an astounding 25.51 minutes per game. Victor is a monster of a human being standing 6 foot 6 inches tall and tipping the scales at 225 pounds. No reason to believe that he can’t post similar numbers for a third straight season.

Victor is easily one of the top five defenseman in the NHL. I would place him fourth on the list behind Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Drew Doughty, but ahead of PK Subban. On a side note, San Jose now has the top two defenseman in the league – geez – sounds like another article. If Hedman posts another successful season like his last two, you can argue if he is a top 3 defenseman. Is he better and does he mean more to his team than Doughty? Burns? Karlsson? I will let you be the judge of that. He did win the Norris in the 2017-18 season so at least he finally has that under his belt. Doughty and Burns have also won a Norris but Karlsson has won two.

Thirty three percent of Hedman’s even strength ice time saw him paired up with Jake Dotchin. He also saw time with Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman. The previous ,mentioned defenseman are not exactly high quality, so to produce those numbers is very good. Victor is one of those defenseman that makes everyone around him better. Jake Dotchin had his contract terminated after showing up to 2018 training camp out of shape. Was there more to it than that? Perhaps, but I don’t have an inside scoop on this one for you. The fact that he played with the inexperienced Dotchin 33% of the time and still put up 63 points is amazing. His plus minus suffered but that is a line result not an individual result.

Scouting report: Logs a ton of ice time, to have the stamina to play 25 minutes a night is incredible. Skates well enough to stay out of trouble and for a big man that is saying something. Has offensive instincts and can thread the needle with a pass. Has leadership skills that are unteachable. Can play offensively or just shut you down. Plays well with and without the puck. Victor has great awareness which is one of the reasons you see him quarterbacking the powerplay unit.

The hockey card you see pictured in this article is a Victor Hedman rookie card. The card was produced in the 2009-10 season by Upper Deck. This Victor Hedman rookie card can be purchased for $30. You can purchase this Victor Hedman and other NHL players hockey cards from my store Off The Post If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact me, and I will track down the item you would like to have.

alex ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin was selected 1st overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals. Other notable names from the 04 draft include 2nd overall pick Evgeni Malkin, 5th overall Blake Wheeler by Phoenix, Devan Dubnyk 14th by Edmonton, Radulov 15th overall by Nashville, and Corey Schneider 26th overall by Vancouver. Two goaltenders in the first round and they have both turned out well. Anyway, this article is about Alexander the Great.

Alex Ovechkin finished the year with 49 goals. It marked the seventh time in his career that he has won the Rocket Richard trophy, given to the player who scores the most goals in a season. Ovechkin has scored at least 50 goals in 6 of his 12 years in the league and was so close last season. Only one other player has won it multiple times and that is Sidney Crosby. The only other two winners have been Steven Stamkos and Corey Perry. Ovechkin has won it 7 out of 12 years since it was introduced in the 2007-08 season.

Ovechkin may be the greatest goal scorer ever to play the game. It has been a pleasure watching him over the years. He is a hard nosed player who throws his weight around as much as he shoots pucks at opposing goaltenders. He is an intimidating force on the ice. He is a crowd pleaser with all the high energy he plays with. He stands 6’3″and weighs 235, so when he hits you, you feel it. The best power forward in the game today.

The majority of Ovechkin’s even strength ice time last season was spent on a line with fellow winger Tom Wilson and cagey veteran Nik Backstrom at center. Ovechkin finished the year with 49 goals and 38 assists for 87 points in 82 games. Alex has been very durable over the years only missing ten games in 2009-10. His first three years in the league he posted over 100 points and last season marked his best totals since the 2009-10 season.

Something special happened to Alex last season and the rest of the Washington Capitals. He finally won a Stanley Cup Championship, you know that had to be bothering him. Sidney Crosby has won three Stanley Cups in his 13 years in Pittsburgh. The two are often compared to one another because of their draft position and being a year apart. Ovechkin’s performance throughout the playoffs was good enough to cement him as the favorite and eventual winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the most valuable player in the playoffs. Alex finished with 27 points in 24 games on the strength of 15 goals.

Washington’s history against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the post season is rather painful for Caps fans. They have lost 9 times to the Penguins in their history. 4 times the Capitals have lost a game seven to the Penguins. That all ended last season as the Capitals defeated the Penguins 4 games to 2.

Enjoy the Ovechkin career highlights video.

You can purchase Alex Ovechkin hockey cards from my store Off The Post If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact me, and I will track down the item you would like to have.

Hockey Cards

alex ovechkin alex ovechkin alex ovechkin