Max Domi, a top 2013 Entry Draft prospect, had a wide array of number to choose from to wear in his initial season with London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
He could have picked No. 28, the number his father, Tie, wore with the Toronto Maple Leafs
from 1995 to 2006. Or 13, the number he wore as a youngster because Mats Sundin
was one of his favorite players. Or 93 for Doug Gilmour
, another of his father's well-known former teammates.
Instead, Domi opted for No. 16, in honor of Philadelphia Flyers
Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke
"I've worn it (No. 16) the past few years because of Bob Clarke. I don't know him, but a few years ago I watched a show on TV about him and how he managed to play hockey despite having Type I diabetes." -- Max Domi
Domi said he picked the number for Clarke because the pair has something very important in common -- both have Type I diabetes.
"I've worn it (No. 16) the past few years because of Bob Clarke," the 16-year-old Domi said at a press conference. "I don't know him, but a few years ago I watched a show on TV about him and how he managed to play hockey despite having Type I diabetes."
Clarke played 15 NHL seasons, all with the Flyers. He captained the team to a pair of Stanley Cup victories and won the Hart Trophy three times. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987.
Clarke was diagnosed with diabetes while still in junior hockey, which is why he lasted until the 17th pick of the 1969 Amateur Draft, where the Flyers chose him.
Domi said he learned of his illness five years ago, but it hasn't slowed his burgeoning hockey career one bit.
"You have to live a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy and monitor it, but it's never been an issue for me," he said.
Playing for the Don Mills Flyers midget AAA team last season, Domi, a 5-foot-8, 180-pound center, had 27 goals and 30 assists in just 30 games. The Kingston Frontenacs chose him with the eighth pick of the 2011 OHL draft and then traded him to London. Gilmour is the general manager in Kingston.
"I've known Doug Gilmour
since I was a little kid and I want to thank him for making this possible," Domi said.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK