Buffalo Sabres Captain Teams Up With USA Hockey to Debut NFT Auction

NHL star and Buffalo Sabres team captain has joined forces with USA Hockey to launch an NFT auction. This marks the first collaboration between an Olympic National Governing Body and a professional athlete in the NFT world. 

Jack Eichel might be sidelined due to injury from his spot as the Buffalo Sabres team captain, but the NHL star is making news off the ice. It was announced on Thursday that he, along with USA Hockey, is joining forces to create an NFT auction.

Eichel reportedly becomes the first-ever pro hockey player to create a non-fungible token and the first pro athlete to do so with the help of an Olympic Governing Body. 

Hosted on OpenSea, the aptly named “Jack Eichel x Fox Ellis NFT Collection” features two dozen NFT’s that celebrate Eichel’s early career highlights. The project is also being aided by Fox Ellis, a talent marketing, branding, and blockchain agency. 

Jack Eichel and USA Hockey skate into NFT history

The Jack Eichel NFT Collection features a trio of exclusive designs which range in rarity from 15 examples to just a single edition of the auction’s big-ticket item. 

The first NFT design, with a run of just 15 examples, commemorates Eichel’s rookie season. The winning bidders will receive a one-of-15 “Super Rookie” card digitally signed by Eichel. The auction also includes a physical hand-signed #15 jersey from the Sabres captain debut season.

The second design, “Captain Jack,” will have a print run of just nine and will honor his title as a team captain. The winners will also receive a signed jersey but this one will be a #9 Sabres captain jersey. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the “USA Hockey Special Edition NFT.” This one-of-a-kind NFT commemorates Eichel’s World Championship win as an integral player on the 2014 national U18 team. The NFT is limited to a single edition and comes with a digital card signed by Eichel.

Additionally, the winner will receive physical memorabilia as well. A hand-signed hockey stick and jersey are included that were both used in an actual NHL game. The big winner will also earn themselves two tickets to a 2021 Sabres home game to watch the captain in action. 

Eichel’s agent and president of Global Hockey Consultants, Peter Fish, was quoted as saying: 

“Jack sees blockchain technology as an exciting new way to connect directly with his most passionate fans and show his appreciation for supporting him on his path to the pros.

Eichel becomes might be the first big name in the NHL to launch an NFT, but the trend has been popular with athletes, in recent months. 

With leagues such as the NBA launching “Top Shot“, teams like the Warriors, players like LeBron James, and legends such as Ted Williams all being featured on NFTs, it appears the trend is just beginning to heat up.