In the third part of my little blog series, we will take a look at my favorite players to wear the numbers 51 through 75 during their NHL careers. If you missed them the first time, go check out 1-25 or 26-50.
#51 Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell was a solid defenseman during his time in the NHL. Campbell provided his teams with the necessary defensive skills as well as an offensive prowess. His opponents always had to make sure he was covered on the points or else it was game over for their goaltender.
#52 Adam Foote
As another part of the Avalanche crew I grew up loving, Adam Foote was the defenseman every team needed. His gritty play and physical presence made him one of the best stay at home defensemen in the game. He was known to drop the mitts often.
#53 Jeff Skinner
Jeff Skinner is a man of many talents. Not only is he an NHL superstar, but he grew up dominating the ice as a figure skater. He used his figure skating expertise to become one of the fastest skaters in the league.
#54 Paul Ranger
So not going to lie, I couldn’t really think of too many players with the number 54. Paul Ranger’s name stood out to me because of his last name. Growing up I was always a huge Power Rangers fan, so Paul Ranger is my guy.
#55 Sergei Gonchar
I remember hating Sergei Gonchar, because he would dominate the Penguins every game when he was a Washington Capital. The Russian defenseman was not only a threat without the puck, but was a hell of a play maker with the puck. All those years of hating Gonchar were thrown out the window as soon as he put on a Penguins sweater, and the veteran quickly had my attention and respect.
#56 Sergei Zubov
Quite possibly one of the best offensive defensemen to ever play the game, Sergei Zubov was a lock on his team’s power play lines. He is the NHL’s all-time leading scorer for Russian defensemen, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.
#57 David Perron
David Perron is a well know name in the NHL, mainly because he has played on so many teams. The St. Louis Blues 26th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft has played for teams such as the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights over the past couple of seasons. Throughout his journey Perron has always managed to find the back of the net, and most recently has found his way back to the St. Louis Blues organization.
#58 Kris Letang
I couldn’t really think of anyone else so I guess Kris Letang will do..
#59 Jayson Megna
Yeah you read that right, Jayson Megna not Jake Guentzel. Even though Guentzel is one of my favorite players, Megna gets my pick. Similar to Conor Sheary, Megna stood out to me at the Penguins Prospect camps. Megna had filthy dangles, and although his time with the Penguins was short I enjoyed watching him play.
#60 Jose Theodore
One of the most dominant goalies during his time, Jose Theodore was always consistent. He made the saves when he needed, and would always give his team an opportunity to win no matter what team he was playing for at the time.
#61 Maxim Afinogenov
The 69th (#Nice) overall pick of the Buffalo Sabres was always fun to watch. Afinogenov’s speed and offensive skills made him a threat on every shift. He may have also had one of the best last names in the game.
#62 Carl Hagelin
Just look at that flow, maybe one of the best hairstyles in the game. His opponents get to admire it every shift as he’s flying past them. The Swedish superstar is most known for his speed, which played an important role for the Penguins cup runs in 2016 and 2017.
#63 Brad Marchand
Love him or hate him, Brad Marchand is my pick for number 63. The guy is one of the best pests in the NHL, and I truly hate him when my favorite teams play against him. However, he is very entertaining to watch. When he’s not licking his opponents or falling over the puck, Brad Marchand finds a way to put the puck in the back of the net each shift. You have to appreciate that about him.
#64 Nail Yakupov
Not too many number 64’s to choose from, but Nail Yakupov was one of the most talked about prospects leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. We saw him go 1st overall to the Edmonton Oilers, and as we all know you can kiss your career goodbye after that.
#65 Erik Karlsson
One of the most talented offensive minded defensemen in today’s current NHL, Erik Karlsson debuted in the league in 2009. Karlsson played for the Ottawa Senators from 2009 until 2018, and was involved in a multiplayer deal that sent him to San Jose in the 2018-2019 season. The following offseason he signed an 8 year extension worth $92 million, making him the highest paid defenseman in the league.
#66 Mario Lemieux
Number soixante-six, Mario Lemieux. Mario is one of the greatest Pittsburgh Penguins of all-time, playing 17 NHL seasons for the organization and putting hockey on the map in Pittsburgh. Lemieux’s offensive skill mixed with his size, made him one of the best players of his time period. Lemieux won cups with the Penguins as a player, and continues to win them as one of the organization’s owners.
#67 Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty is another successful US-born hockey player. Drafted as the 22nd pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Max has never disappointed. The once Montreal Canadiens captain now plays for the Vegas Golden Knights, and continues to put on a show each night.
#68 Jaromir Jagr
I will admit I was not always a Jagr fan. At one point I hated the guy, because I felt he walked out on the Penguins organization. Over the years I have learned to appreciate Jagr and his skills he brought to the table. I mean the guy is still playing professionally overseas, and basically played on every NHL team in the league, so its hard not to respect him.
#69 Mel Angelstad
I’m going to be honest I have no idea who this guy is, but there has only been two players to wear number 69 in the NHL. Angelstad has my respect for being the first player to ever wear such a nice number. Even if he only played 2 games in the NHL for the Washington Capitals in 2004.
#70 Braden Holtby
As a Penguins fan, there’s nothing better than hearing the good ole “Holtbyyyy” chant during playoff games. You can actually see the disappointment in his eyes as another puck goes behind him. All jokes aside, Holtby is a one of the top goalies in the league. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with him and the Capitals organization in the next few seasons.
#71 Evgeni Malkin
This guy is just awesome. Malkin entered the league in 2006, not knowing much of the English language. Honestly not sure, if he even knows it now. All jokes aside, Geno has been dominating the NHL as one half of the two headed monster for the Pittsburgh Penguins. There has always been trade rumors of him leaving Pittsburgh, but Geno not in a Penguins jersey just doesn’t seem right.
#72 Patric Hornqvist
One of my favorite players on the current Penguins roster. Patric Hornqvist works his *** off every night, he battles in front of the net and on the boards every shift. I know he has had to have some lovely battle wounds from sticks, maybe even has some brands imprinted onto his skin. My favorite memory of Hornqvist was him scoring the game winning goal to clinch the Stanley Cup for the Penguins in Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.
#73 Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson is the only guy I remember wearing number 73. Jack Johnson has had his up and downs throughout his career, and looks to continue becoming a solid defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
#74 TJ Oshie
Before TJ Oshie was a Capital, he was one of my favorite players. The US-born forward is always a threat to score. He can snipe, dangle, lay a big hit, and celebrate with style. Oshie is most known for his 2014 Sochi Olympic performance where he scored on 4 out of 6 shootout attempts to lead to a US victory over the Russians.
#75 Ryan Reaves
One of the last remaining NHL tough guys in the league, Ryan Reaves looks to intimidate his opponents on every shift. His job his to protect his teammates, and you can clearly see he loves doing it.
There you have it, my favorite NHL players to wear numbers 51-75. Join me next time as I discuss the final edition; My Favorite NHL Players To Wear Numbers 76-99.