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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61. Evan McEneny, 2017

Mostly a Utica Comets player, Evan McEneny played one game for the Canucks in 2017 in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. That night he became the first and only Canuck so far to wear 61. His career was plagued by injuries, and he played last year with the Laval Rockets of the AHL.

62. Mario Bliznak, 2009-2011

Mario Bliznak is the only Canuck to wear 62 to date.  He played six games with the Canucks in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons scoring one goal. The former Vancouver Giant (he won the Memorial Cup with them in 2007.) then played the rest of his career in Europe before retiring in 2019.

63. Philip Larsen, 2016-17

The Canucks a fifth-round pick in 2017 for Philip Larsen to help on the backend and power play. He only played 26 games and got a goal and five assists. After the 2016-17 season, he signed for Salavat Yulaev Ufa, where he has been ever since. Larsen is officially the only Canuck to wear 63 but Jalen Chatfield has worn it in preseason games but those don’t count in the NHL’s record books.

64. Tyler Motte, 2018-Present

A hard-working, bottom-six forward and penalty killer, Tyler Motte was acquired in the Thomas Vanek trade at the 2018 deadline and signed a two-year deal with the Canucks last month. Motte has become a fan favourite and is the third Canuck to wear the number 64 after Evan Oberg in 2010-11 and Borna Rendulic (Who? Exactly.) in 2017.

65. Alex Grenier, 2015-17

Alex Grenier played nine games in two seasons with the Canucks and didn’t manage a single point. He is the only Canuck so far to wear 65 and he now plays for Iserlohn Roosters of the DEL.

66. Gino Odjick,1991-1998

Here he is again!  A little known fact about Odjick is that he is the only Canuck to wear 66. He apparently wore it in his first NHL game in 1991 because he was a fan of Mario Lemieux. In that game, he fought not once but twice. The first was against Dave Manson and the second against Stu Grimson (AKA The Grim Reaper) After the game, the league told the Canucks they wanted Odjick not to wear 66, (Maybe Lemieux complained to the league.) and he changed it to 29.

70. Tanner Pearson, 2019-Present

Acquired in a trade for (only!) Erik Gudbranson at the 2019 deadline, Tanner Pearson is a reliable second line winger and the only Canucks to wear the number 70. I wish someone would wear 69 though, it is a nice number.

71. Zack MacEwen, 2019-Present

Zack MacEwen isn’t the first Canuck to wear 71. Jiri Slegr wore it in his second stint with the Canucks in the 2003-04 season. (He wore 24 from 1992-95) “Big Mac” recently signed a two-year deal with Vancouver. (Great, now I want a Big Mac.)  He is a physical winger who can bring some versatility and hopefully we can see more of him in the Canucks bottom-six for the next two years.

72. Peter Schaefer, 1998-2001

Peter Schaefer is the only Canuck to wear 72 which he wore for two seasons but he previously wore 15 and 29 splitting time between the Canucks and their AHL affiliate at the time, the Syracuse Crunch. Schaefer was traded before the start of the 2002-03 season where he spent four seasons. He also spent the 2007-08 season with the Boston Bruins and 2008-09 season with the AHL’s Providence Bruins before ending his NHL career in Vancouver wearing 18. He only played 16 games with the Canucks in the 2010-11 season before being put on waivers but he was unwilling to play in the AHL so both sides terminated his contract and he spent the rest of the season with ERC Ingolstadt of the DEL before retiring. Schaefer became assistant coach of the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles in 2012 and eventually became their head coach in 2013-14 and returned for the 2018-19 season but got fired in November of 2018.

73. Tyler Toffoli, 2020

Acquired from the LA Kings last February, Tyler Toffoli is the only Canuck to wear 73. He had six goals and ten points in ten games with the Canucks before the Covid-19 Pandemic suspended the season. In the playoffs, he had two goals and two assists in 7 games. Toffoli signed with the  Canadiens last month. which is a tough pill to swallow because the Canucks gave up prospect Tyler Madden and a second for only a total of 17 games of him.

75. Michael DiPietro 2019- Present

Canucks prospect Michael Dipietro is the only Canuck to wear 75. He was called up in February 2019 on an emergency basis with Thatcher Demko injured. He made his debut on February 11th against the San Jose Sharks. The Canucks left him to dry (or thrown to the Sharks.) as he gave up seven goals on 24 shots. You have to feel for the poor chap. Dipietro has said he is using that game as motivation so he can come back to the NHL stronger. He also came in relief for Jacob Markstrom in a December 2019 game against the Vegas Golden Knights where he gave up one goal on seven shots in a 6-3 loss.

77. Anson Carter, 2005-2006

The first Canuck to wear 77, (Nikolay Goldobin wore it over a decade later) Carter wore it for in the 2005-06 season where he played on a line with the Sedins. That season he scored a career-high 33 goals (They were likely all assisted by the Sedins) and was voted the Most Exciting Player by the fans but chose to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the offseason. If only he stayed one more season. Carter is now a hockey analyst for NBC Sports in case you are wondering.

79. Micheal Ferland, 2019- Present

Micheal Ferland is the second Canuck to wear 79 after Mike Duco wore it for six games in the 2011-12 season. Ferland was signed to a four-year deal in July of 2019 but only played five regular season and two postseason games due to concussions. It really sucks for him but he wants to return next season.

81. Fedor Fedorov, 2002-03

Fedor Fedorov is the only Canuck to wear 81 and he wore it in the 2002-03 season before he switched to 18 the following year. He only played 15 games with the Canucks tallying two assists before he was traded to the Rangers. Fedorov is most known for getting punched by Kevin Bieksa when they were both members of the Manitoba Moose. Bieksa apparently spilled Fedorov’s beer while they were at an Earls Restaraunt. Fedorov then challenged him to a fight and Bieska knocked him out cold. Bieksa thought he would be cut from the Moose but then-Canucks GM  Brian Burke signed him to an entry-level deal. So, Bieksa can thank Fedorov for starting his NHL career and spilling that beer was probably the best move of his life.

82. Nikolay Goldobin, 2017-2020

Nik Goldobin is the only Canuck to wear 82. He wore it in the 2016-17 season after being acquired from the Sharks. He scored three goals in 12 games before switching to 77. “Goldy” had the upside but he was too inconsistent.

83. Jay Beagle, 2018-present

Current Canucks centre Jay Beagle is the only Canuck to wear 83. He was signed to a four-year deal in 2018 to help out in the bottom six and penalty kill. He is good at blocking shots and in the faceoff circle. A memorable Beagle moment was when fans voted him as the 20th best centre in the NHL in the summer of 2018. True story.

88. Adam Gaudette, 2018-Present

Nikita Tryamkin was the first to wear 88 (No, he shouldn’t be brought back.) but I’m going with Adam Gaudette. He wore 8 in college but since it was taken by Chris Tanev, he settled for 88.  Gaudette provides good offensive instincts and is still trying to be a third-line centre in the NHL. With the Canucks acquiring Nate Schmidt last month, Gaudette surrendered 88 to him. With speculation that he would switch to back to 8, he went with 96 to honour his birth year. Gaudette is also pretty good at Call of Duty: Warzone.

89. Alexander Mogilny, 1995-2000

Alexander Mogilny was the first NHL draftee to defect from the Soviet Union to play in North America. He spent four and a half seasons of his illustrious career with the Canucks. One of two Canucks to wear 89, (the other is Sam Gagner) he made a big impact right away as he scored 55 goals and 107 points. The following year, he scored 31 goals and 73 points. Mogilny’s play declined because of injuries but his strong two-way game and playmaking abilities were fun to watch for Canucks fans. How is he not in the Hockey Hall of Fame yet?

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91. Jared McCann, 2015-16

Jared McCann is the only Canuck to wear 91 which he wore during his rookie season. He had plenty of potential and managed nine goals and 18 points but he was traded in the offseason to the Florida Panthers along with a second and a fourth in 2016 for Gudbranson and a 2015 fifth. (Man that trade sucked.) McCann has since found his form with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

96. Pavel Bure, 1991-1997

The Russian Rocket Strikes again! The first player to wear 96 for the Canucks, Bure gave up the number 10 before the 1995-96 season when Mogilny arrived in Vancouver. When Bure first arrived in 1991, he wanted to wear 96 but Pat Quinn didn’t approve.

In the 90s, high numbers were a popular trend among players, however, switching to 96 was bad luck for Bure. He only played 15 games in 1995-96 due to a torn ACL. The following season, he managed only 23 goals and 55 points in 63 games. Before the 1997-98 season, (which turned out to be Bure’s last in Vancouver) Bure switched back to 10 and scored 51 goals and 90 points. Coincidence? I think not.

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If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading this article. It took a long time to research, write and edit. Hopefully, you are reminiscing on past Canuck players and memories. Of course, you are free to call me out on my picks.