Wayne Gretzky launches first NFT collectables on new DraftKings platform

Edmonton Oilers great Wayne Gretzky. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

Wayne Gretzky's name dominates the NHL history books but now The Great One is being preserved in a new type of collectable: NFTs.

Gretzky's Premier Edition collectibles will be released Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET on the new DraftKings Marketplace while Signature Edition collectables will follow on Friday. Both series feature a profile photo of Gretzky with the Signature Edition also including his authentic autograph.

“I’m thrilled to get into the NFT space with Autograph and expand into Canada, having fans engage with great moments from my hockey career in new, revolutionary ways," Gretzky said in a statement. "I’ve been committed to sharing and developing the game further for all hockey fans, and I’m proud to work and advise with Autograph, making the space more accessible and streamlined for new and longtime collectors."

NFT -- which stands for non-fungible token -- is a technology that allows digital items to be authenticated and then bought and sold on open markets. The technology is used in a variety of cryptocurrencies but hit the mainstream earlier this year with the rising popularity of NBA Top Shots, a marketplace that allows users to buy and sell exclusive, digital, NBA moments -- similar to trading cards in the physical world.

The Gretzky collectables, provided by Autograph in a partnership with Upper Deck, will be the first NFTs available on the new DraftKings Marketplace in Canada. DraftKings launched the NFT marketplace in late July in the U.S. with a Tom Brady collection, also provided by Autograph. Autograph is an NFT provider co-founded by Brady earlier this year, with Gretzky, Naomi Osaka, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods among the names on its board of advisors.

Like the Brady collectables before it, each series of the Gretzky collectables will be available in five colours -- carbon, platinum, emerald, sapphire and ruby -- which will determine the price and availability. The carbon collectables are the cheapest and come in the largest quantities, with the 5,000 carbon premier edition units being sold for $12 each. The ruby collectables are the most expensive and are more limited, with only 12 ruby signature editions released at launch, costing $1,500 each.

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