Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir
recently compiled a list of the 100 greatest NHL players by jersey number, some that were perhaps more obvious than others; after all, Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 is one of the most iconic jersey number in all of sports.
Included in the SI.com list were three Carolina Hurricanes players, both former and current: Jussi Jokinen at No. 36, Jeff Skinner at No. 53 and Chad LaRose at No. 59.
No. 36: Jussi Jokinen
Jokinen joined the Canes in February of 2009, just months before the Hurricanes would make a run to the Eastern Conference Final. Jokinen proved to play a key part in the Canes’ postseason magic, as he tallied seven goals and 11 points in 18 games. Of his seven goals in the playoffs, this is likely the most memorable:
He then did this in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to give the Canes a 2-1 series lead:
In total, Jokinen skated in 288 regular-season games and 18 playoff games for the Hurricanes. He posted career highs in goals (30) and points (65) in the 2009-10 season.
Muir on Jokinen: “The one-time shootout king blossomed into a 30-goal scorer for Carolina in 2009-10.”
No. 53: Jeff Skinner
Top-10 draft pick. Two-time 30-goal scorer – and the first player in Hurricanes history to have two 30-goal seasons before turning 22 years old. All Star – and the youngest All-Star in league history. Calder Trophy winner – and the youngest player in NHL history to do so.
And he is still just 23 years old, as of May.
Who can forget this silky smooth display of skating capped off by a bang-in goal? Yes, it’s the Skin-o-Rama:
Muir on Skinner: “The two-time 30-goal scorer and 2011 Calder winner is also the youngest player ever to appear in an NHL All-Star Game.”
No. 59: Chad LaRose
An undrafted, undersized forward, Chad LaRose never played like he was undrafted or undersized. The quick-footed winger was pesky and gritty, and his No. 59 became a staple in the Canes’ lineup. LaRose logged eight seasons and 508 games with the Hurricanes, and after playing 21 games in the 2006 playoffs, his name is etched on the Stanley Cup.
He also headed up an All-Star campaign:
Muir on LaRose: “The speedy forward has played bigger than his size (5-8, 185 pounds) during his eight seasons in Carolina, which were highlighted by a Stanley Cup in 2006.”
Check out the full list of greatest NHL players by jersey numbers on SI.com. It’s hard to top Guy Lafleur, but you could probably make an argument for Ron Francis at No. 10. Any more Hurricanes you would add to the list?