The most recognizable characteristic about an NHL player, even more so than their name, face, or even how well they play hockey, is their number. Numbers were even more important for Vegas because with everyone new to the team that was the first way everyone was going to get to know the players. In theory, every number would come with a story. Of the 98 potential options, players had to have a reason to choose the one they wear every day. Right?
Well, we asked every player on the Golden Knights how they selected their jersey number, and while some have solid backstories, most don’t. Nonetheless, here they all are.
#3 – Brayden McNabb
I’ve just always worn it since junior, there’s really nothing behind it. I think I’ve always just liked 3 growing up, I just like the look of it.
#5 – Deryk Engelland
Probably just given to me, I don’t know. It was a long time ago (laughter). I was 5 or 7 growing up, but there’s no real reason for it.
#9 – Cody Glass
I was 9 when I was around 12 years old. It’s the number my brother wore, so that was kind of ironic that I ended up with it here. I’ve worn 8 most of the time but (Griffin) Reinhart had it so I had to go with something else.
#10 – Nic Roy
They just gave it to me. I had no control, but I’ve had it in the past. Had it for Team Canada in World Junior.
#14 – Nic Hague
My Dad wore it in minor hockey and junior B. I had it every year in minor hockey. The first year I did not wear it was my first year in Junior and then when I got to Chicago. I just got lucky that in the 3 years no one else wanted it.
#15 – Jon Merrill
I had a couple of options when I was coming here and it was just random that I took 15. I would have kept 7 but (Jason) Garrison had it and then I wanted 24 but Lindy (Oscar Lindberg) really wanted it. So I went with 15.
#19 – Reilly Smith
18 wasn’t available.
#20 – Chandler Stephenson
I always had numbers in the teens but I figured I’d try something new. It looks a little wide on the jersey, but I like it.
#21 – Cody Eakin
It was my Dad’s old number.
#26 – Paul Stastny
My Dad. He’s always been my favorite player and my mentor. Growing up I think you just see the number all the time. Everyone wants to be like their Dad, especially if they are a good role model. So for me, it was easy.
#27 – Shea Theodore
I wore 17 in junior, so I kind of like the 7’s. When I went and played in San Diego I wanted 17 but a guy already had it so I kinda just took 27. Then when I came to Vegas they gave me a pick and I just like the way it looked.
#28 – William Carrier
My brother’s birthday.
#29 – Marc-Andre Fleury
In Junior, there were three goalies and there were two goalies in front of me older so they picked 30 and 1, I think, and the only one left was 29. So I just kept it.
#30 – Malcolm Subban
Lundqvist and Brodeur, mainly Brodeur though.
#61 – Mark Stone
I was 16 my whole career and Clarke MacArthur came to Ottawa and I had to switch.
#67 – Max Pacioretty
They gave it to me. There are no other real numbers you can have in Montreal cause so many are retired. I was 16 my whole life and I thought about going back to 16 once I came here but my kids wouldn’t let me.
#71 – William Karlsson
When I was in juniors I had 17 but then one year, when I was 21, I decided to take 71 because it was cooler looking and ever since I’ve just kept it.
#75 – Ryan Reaves
They gave it to me in camp. I was a rookie and I got called up so I had it that year. The next year they asked if I wanted 38 which I wore in the minors. But I think that was the year Pavol Demitra died so I didn’t want to take that. They ended up retiring that number eventually. 38 was my Dad’s number and I wanted to make my own legacy so I stuck with 75. It’s what got me there so I might as well leave it.
#88 – Nate Schmidt
I showed up to Development Camp and it was in my stall. I was too afraid to ask when I got called up for any other number. The only other numbers I would have taken here were both taken. 29 I wore in college, wasn’t getting that one. 21 was the other one but I kind of grew out of that one and Eakin had way more games than me.
#89 – Alex Tuch
When I was 7-years-old I was playing spring hockey on a team called the Montreal IceDogs. 89 was the largest jersey they had.
#92 Tomas Nosek
I was born in 1992. I used to play with 19 when I was little. Then I got to the pros in Europe and 19 was taken so I had to chose a different number. So I picked 92.
*We were unable to get stories from either Jonathan Marchessault or Nick Holden in the reporting for this story. The team is back in town next week so we will make sure to update them when we get them.*