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Kraken jerseys lined up at the Kraken Community Iceplex Dan Morse

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Seattle Kraken Jersey Number Power Rankings

The definitive guide to which players wear the best digits on the back of their sweater

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Training camp is over and the opening night roster for the Seattle Kraken is beginning to crystalize. That means we can really begin dissecting this team and get into the details of how certain player styles will mesh together, what the optimal line combinations might be, and who has the potential to be the biggest force on offense.

Instead of doing all that great analysis, let’s do something much dumber. Let’s talk about jersey numbers.

There are not many rules when it comes to what number a player is allowed to wear in the NHL. The only part of the official 2020-21 NHL rulebook that pertains to numbering rules comes in Section 3, Rule 9.2:

“Each player listed in the line-up shall wear an individual identifying number at least ten inches (10’’) high on the back of his sweater. Sweater numbers such as 00, ½ (fractions), .05 (decimals), 101 (three digit) are not permitted.”

While I can’t find anything in the rulebook that explicitly bans the single-digit 0, it does appear that it was removed as a choice in 1996.

The only other league-wide rule is that no player can wear number 99, as that was retired by the NHL in 2000 after Gretzky’s retirement.

There are some unwritten rules as well when it comes to jersey numbers in the NHL, the most notable of these being that only goalies can wear No. 1. The last time a non-goalie wore No. 1 in the NHL was Glen Smith in 1950. There’s also some debate around donning a number worn by a legend of the game, like Mario Lemieux’s No. 66. Only two players have worn No. 66 since Lemieux’s retirement in 2006, the most recent being the New York Islanders’ Josh Ho-Sang in 2017.

Aside from that, every number can be freely worn by any player. But if you’ve watched enough hockey, you’ll know that sometimes there are numbers that just simply don’t feel right on a specific player. Which is why we’re going to rank the players on the current Kraken roster by nothing more than the vibes they give off in their sweater number.

1 | No. 22 Mason Appleton (C)

Double numbers rule, and Appleton also brings the double-P to the back of the jersey too. He’s going to play his way onto the first line by season’s end.

Mason Appleton wearing number 22 Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

2 | No. 6 Adam Larsson (D)

It’s a great number for a great shutdown defender. Defensemen always look great in single-digits.

3 | No. 5 Mark Giordano (D)

Speaking of defenders wearing single-digit numbers, how good does the former Calgary Flames captain look with an ice blue 5 on his back?

4 | No. 19 Calle Järnkrok (C)

Järnkrok is donning a number with a pretty incredible history of elite forward talent. I’m ready to label him as the Kraken’s William Karlsson.

5 | No. 17 Jaden Schwartz (LW)

A great number with a touching story behind it, Jaden Scwartz is Seattle’s top-line winger until he says otherwise.

Jaden Schwartz wearing number 17 Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

6 | No. 9 Ryan Donato (C)

A classic number with a rich history, one of a few single-digit numbers to look better on a forward than a defenseman.

7 | No. 31 Philipp Grubauer (G)

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the classics sometimes. It works well on the fifth-oldest player on the Kraken’s roster.

8 | No. 60 Chris Driedger (G)

Anything above 30 works for goalies, but numbers ending in 0 give off even stronger goalie vibes.

9 | No. 55 Jérémy Lauzon (D)

Numbers in the 50s work well on defense, and double numbers remain an excellent choice (see also: Appleton, Mason)

10 | No. 7 Jordan Eberle (RW)

A solid goal-scoring number worthy of the top line.

11 | No. 24 Jamie Oleksiak (D)

It works as a defender number but probably works a little better as a forward number. (Sidenote: I wonder what he’ll do with the number 6 jersey he wore to the expansion draft, what an odd collectible that will be)

12 | No. 13 Brandon Tanev (LW)

His headshot last year looks like he only just discovered that 13 is considered an unlucky number.

No. 13, in and of itself, wouldn’t normally be ranked this high, but it just fits Tanev too well to be in the bottom half.

13 | No. 16 Jared McCann (LW)

The numerical version of “he’d be a top-line center on a bad team but a 2nd-line center on a Stanley Cup contender.”

14 | No. 4 Haydn Fleury (D)

That’s why they call him Haydn “Bobby Orr” Fleury.

15 | No. 3 Will Borgen (D)

It’s a decent number for a defenseman, but—wait what do you mean nobody calls him Haydn “Bobby Orr” Fleury? Well they should.

16 | No. 72 Joonas Donskoi (RW)

17 | No. 73 Kole Lind (RW)

Higher numbers are becoming more common and some are great, but 70s are simply fine.

18 | No. 21 Alex Wennberg (C)

This number can either score goals or play solid defense but it absolutely cannot do both.

19 | No. 35 Joey Daccord (G)

It’s somewhere between classic and modern but can’t decide which.

NHL: Preseason-Seattle Kraken at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

20 | No. 15 Riley Sheahan (C)

A solid third-line center number but not much more than that.

21 | No. 27 Dennis Cholowski (D)

22 | No. 29 Vince Dunn (D)

23 | No. 28 Carson Soucy (D)

There’s a surprising amount of defensemen wearing numbers in the 20s on this team and I don’t quite know what to make of it except that I don’t love it.

24 | No. 90 Marcus Johansson (LW)

Would love to see a goalie rocking this some day instead.

25 | No. 14 Nathan Bastian (RW)

Nobody has made this a good forward number since Brendan Shanahan, who retired over a decade ago.

26 | No. 37 Yanni Gourde (C)

There’s a reason Patrice Bergeron is a perennial Selke finalist but never a Hart candidate. It’s very possible that if Gourde has a breakout season, Andrei Svechnikov lives up to his mega contract extension, and Bergeron continues to defy aging curves, my feelings on forwards wearing #37 will shift by next year.

27 | No. 67 Morgan Geekie (C)

Sandwiching yourself between Mario Lemiuex’s 66 and Jaromir Jagr’s 68 is a great way to accidentally set expectations you’ll never live up to.

28 | No. 43 Colin Blackwell (C)

Was Colin Blackwell a fullback in a past life?

I can’t imagine anyone could disagree with this perfect list, but if somehow you do, let us know in the comments! And as always, go Kraken.