1954-55 marked Topps’ first series of NHL hockey cards. Out of that set came three significant, albeit working-class, rookie cards. Combined, the three played 2,915 regular season games in the National Hockey League. Two had played youth hockey together with the OHA’s Barrie Flyers. The same two would start their NHL careers with the Boston Bruins. One would go on to be awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year, while two of the three would go on to win the Lady Byng Trophy once in their careers.
Card number 18 in the 1954-55 Topps set is the Doug Mohns rookie card. Mohns played his rookie year with the Bruins in 1953-54 after playing junior for the Barrie Flyers. The defenseman was an immediate success with 27 points in Boston’s 70 regular season games.
Doug played in the National Hockey League from 1953-54 to 1974-75 with the Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota North Stars, Atlanta Flames, and Washington Capitals. He played 1,390 regular season games. During the 2013-14 season, Teemu Selanne will overtake Mohns in the list of players with the most games played, pushing Doug to 36th position.
As a defenseman from the pre-Bobby Orr era, Doug’s numbers are very good. He scored 248 goals and assisted 462 for 710 points. In 94 playoff games, he has added 50 points. However, despite the large number of playoff games, Mohns was never a Stanley Cup champion. Some say the lost championship was the only thing that kept Doug from being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It may be the only thing in the world of vintage hockey cards that keeps the value of your rookie card at a still-respectable book value of $125.
Camille ‘The Eel’ started her NHL career strong in 1953-54. He scored 24 goals and had 39 points in 66 games for the New York Rangers to win the Calder Memorial Trophy. Camille Henry’s rookie card is listed as number 32 in the 1954-55 Topps set and has a book value of about $80.
Despite his success as a rookie, Henry found himself playing only 21 games in 1954-55 before being sent to the American Hockey League to play for the Quebec Aces. Camille then played the entire 1955-56 period with the Providence Reds in the AHL before returning to the Rangers in the middle of the next season.
Henry played in the NHL from 1953-54 to 1969-70 with the Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and St. Louis Blues. He was a teammate of Doug Mohns in Chicago for the last half of the 1964-65 season. Like Mohns, Camille has never won a Stanley Cup championship. However, he was awarded the Lady Byng Trophy as the most gentlemanly player in the league in 1957-58.
Throughout her career, Camille played in 727 regular season games. He scored 279 goals and assisted 249 for 528 points. In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Henry appeared in 47 games and added 18 points.
Although No. 35 in the 1954-55 Topps was Don McKenney’s rookie card, he played the entire 1953-54 season in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. Another product of the Barrie Flyers, McKenney became a regular for the Bruins in 1954-55. He played in the NHL through the end of the 1967-68 season with the Bruins, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and St. Louis Blues.
Don played in 798 NHL regular season games, scoring 237 goals and assisting in 345 for 582 points. He played 58 more games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, adding 47 points. McKenney was a member of the Maple Leafs in 1963-64 with Toronto winning its third straight Stanley Cup championship.
Like Camille Henry, McKenney once won the Lady Byng Trophy and took home the hardware in 1959-60 as a member of the Bruins. His rookie card also has the same value as Henry’s.
The 1954-55 Topps game was the first NHL collection for the longtime baseball card producer. A common card from that game has a value of $40. There are 60 hockey cards in the collection with a book value of a complete set of $4,500. The most valuable card belongs to Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings.