Way before Sidney Crosby was drawing comparisons to the Great One, a young player named Vincent Lecavalier was being touted as the next Mario Lemieux. If that wasn't enough pressure, when Tampa Bay drafted him first overall in 1998 the team's owner declared Lecavalier would be the Michael Jordan of hockey.
Despite nearly impossible expectations, Lecavalier has made a name for himself with his own accomplishments as the leader of the Lightning.
It didn't come easy for him right away. As an 18-year old rookie in 1998-99, Lecavalier played in all 82 of his team's games and managed just 13 goals and 28 points. But he improved to 25 goals the next season, and has scored at least 20 goals in every season since.
The Lightning improved along with their young star, and Lecavalier played a key role in the franchise's first Stanley Cup during the 2003-04 season. He found more individual success in 2006-07, winning the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy with a league-leading 52 goals.
Now that Lecavalier has achieved the success that many predicted for him all along, hockey card collectors are starting to take another look at his 1997-98 rookie cards. The good news for anyone looking to grab them all is that he was included in only a few sets from that season, and only his Zenith # 95 should come with a price tag over $50.
Vincent Lecavalier 1997-98 Rookie Cards
- Black Diamond # 150
- Upper Deck # 412
- Zenith # 95
- Zenith 5 x 7 # 75