Canucks: The best player to wear each jersey number

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images) /
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Vancouver Canucks
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11. Wayne Maki, 1971-1973

You would all be blasting me if I picked Mark Messier, but No. 11 will go to Wayne Maki, a winger who put up 123 points in three seasons with the Canucks. This included a career-high 63 points in the 1970-71 season. Maki’s family were not happy when Messier was given number 11 and what is more infuriating is that the Canucks didn’t ask them permission.

12. Stan Smyl, 1979-1991

He was the first Canuck to have his jersey retired.  Stan Smyl was a hard nosed winger who played his entire career with the Canucks. “Steamer” captained the Canucks to their first run to the Stanley Cup final in 1982 and is fourth all time in games played, goals assists and fifth in points. Smyl is now senior advisor on hockey relations to general manager Jim Benning.

13. Lars Lindgren, 1978-1984

I originally wanted pick Artem Chubarov, (No, not Thomas Drance.) but decided to go with Lars Lindgren. The Swedish defenceman was a skilled puck mover who played a part in the 1982 run. He also known for scoring on his own net with nine seconds left in a game against the Edmonton Oilers in 1982 which ended in a 3-3 tie. (The goal was credited to Messier because of course.)

14.  Alex Burrows, 2005-2017

I could have gone with Geoff Courtnall or Chris Oddleifson, but Alex Burrows takes the prize here. He worked his way from being undrafted to the ECHL, the AHL to becoming the Sedins’ best ever linemate. He got under opponents skin and provided goals. Of course, we can’t forget the time he “slayed the dragon.” with the Game 7 overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in round one of the 2011 playoffs.

15. J.J. Daigneault, 1984-1986

This one was tough because there wasn’t really any standouts for the number 15. However, J.J. Daigneault is the choice here. The defenceman spent the first two seasons of his career with the Canucks, scoring four goals and 27 points in his first season and five goals and 28 assists in his second. Daigneault went on to have a lengthy career with multiple NHL clubs including the Philadelphia Flyers and Canadiens.

16. Trevor Linden, 1988-1998, 2001-2008

This was an easy choice. Former captain Trevor Linden is one of the greatest and most beloved players in Canucks, history and the second to have his jersey retired. Nothing to be said that already hasn’t be already been said about “Captain Canuck.”

17. Ryan Kesler, 2003-2014

Some Canucks fans are not going to like this choice because of the way he left Vancouver, but Ryan Kesler was a warrior for the Canucks. He is the only player in franchise history to win the Selke Trophy and is tied for 12th all time in points with 393.

Kesler was a big part of the Canucks 2011 run to the Stanley Cup Final, including an excellent performance in the second round against the Nashville Predators which earned him the nickname “Beast Mode.”

18. Igor Larionov , 1989-1992

Igor Larionov is more well-known for his career as a Detroit Red Wing, but he spent the first three NHL seasons in Vancouver. In the 1991-92 campaign, he had 21 goals and 65 points, which was then a career-high while working with Adams and a rookie named Bure.

19. Markus Naslund, 1997-2008

Markus Naslund’s No. 19 was the third to be raised to the rafters. He is second all time in goals and third all time in points.

Naslund led the Canucks in scoring for seven straight seasons and was the first Canuck to win the Lester B. Pearson Award (now called the Ted Lindsay Award)  and was a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2003. An all-time Vancouver sports legend.

20. Chris Higgins, 2011-2016

Chris Higgins was acquired at the 2011 trade deadline from the Florida Panthers. Though he had numerous injuries, Higgins was a player that was used in all situations and brought lots of speed and secondary scoring. Higgins is now the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Canucks. He also had the best abs in Canucks history.