One of the most exciting parts of the hockey season fast approaching and the release of training camp information is discovering which numbers the players will wear this season. There’s always some new players and a few players that have made changes. As someone who geeks out over this stuff, I bring you the new numbers to look out for and the meaning behind some of the selections.
13 – Alex Kerfoot
The newly signed rookie gets a real number right off the bat with lucky number 13 according to the rookie camp roster. It isn’t quite the number 14 Kerfoot wore at Harvard but with Blake Comeau currently occupying 14 then its neighbor 13 will have to make due. The 13 is a bit of a rarity in Colorado as only Valeri Kanensky, Dan Hinote and Freddie Hamilton have made an appearance in the number.
17 – Tyson Jost
It’s been teased all summer but hardly a secret that Jost was successful in nabbing his preferred number and trading out of the 27 he wore for his six game stint in the NHL at the end of the 2016-17 season. The number 17 has been Jost’s baby for a long time as he’s carried the number from Pentiction to North Dakota and even on occasion with Hockey Canada. Jost will be called upon to make the number a franchise icon as he erases the memory of such legends as Brad Stuart, Chuck Kobasew and most recently Rene Bourque who all wore the number. This is also the number worn by the most players in franchise history but hopefully Jost occupies it for quite a while.
22 – Colin Wilson
Wearing anything other than 33 is going to be a big change for Wilson, who wore that number the entirety of his eight year career in Nashville and also when he played at Boston University. The next best thing seems to be the number 22 with 33 obviously unavailable and hanging from the rafters. This number was most recently occupied by Rocco Grimaldi, no word yet on which new number he’s chosen, but also an assortment of past players including Zach Redmond, Matt Hunwick, Scott Hannan and Claude Lemieux.
24 – AJ Greer
Making the number 24 a permanent fixture will be a change for Greer as he donned 46 in burgundy and blue last season in training camp and for his NHL debut, although 24 was his number in San Antonio. He has worn an assortment of different numbers in his junior and college career so here’s a chance for him to make the number iconic and stick for a while. Greer will have his work cut out for him to replace the memory of Marc-Andre Cliche as the most recent Avalanche in these threads.
44 – Mark Barberio
A bit of a surprise, Barberio trades in his familiar number 45, which he wore in both Montreal and when he joined Colorado, for a more typical number for defensemen in the popular 44. This number goes all the way back with Barberio to Moncton in the QMJHL. Barberio will have his work cut out for himself to fare better in the number than the previous trio in Eric Gelinas, Ryan Wilson and Jordan Leopold.
45 – Jonathan Bernier
Going back to the old favorite number he had with Toronto and Los Angeles, Bernier will be the first goalie in franchise history to rock the number 45. It’s unclear how it went down getting the number from Mark Barberio gave up the number but he was the most recent Avalanche to sport the 45. The gone but not forgotten Dennis Everberg was another recent owner as well.
64 – Nail Yakupov
As expected, Yakupov gets one of his preferred numbers in 64, which he wore in both Edmonton and St. Louis. Yakupov has the strongest attachment to number 10 in honor of Pavel Bure but hasn’t had the chance to grab it often so 64 is the next best thing as 6+4 adds up to 10 and is generally available on any team. Never before seen in an Avalanche sweater, there are only 28 players in NHL history that have worn 64, including Yakupov. None notable but plenty of Avs related folk on that list including Brendan Ranford, Borna Rendulic, Jamie McGinn and Joe Blandisi.
94 – Andrei Mironov
No surprise here as Mironov trades in his generic development camp number assignment for 94, which he wore his entire tenure in the KHL with Dynamo Moscow and it is also his birth year number. This will be the second time in franchise history the number 94 has been worn as Ryan Smyth did in his stint with the team, however Mironov will be only the 10th person in NHL history to don the number. Mironov will also join Landeskog with 92 and Rantanen with 96 in the birth year club.