Thank you all for following along with me through my journey of my favorite NHL players. We have looked at my favorites who wore the numbers 1-25, 26-50 and 51-75, and have now come to the end of the road.
Numbers 76 through 99, include some of the greatest to ever play the game.
#76 PK Subban
Pernell-Karl Subban is one of my favorite defenseman to watch play the game. He is an offensive minded defenseman, who always finds his name on the scoresheet. Subban can sometimes be a pest on the rink, but off the rink he is a man of many talents. PK is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, executive producer, and fashion enthusiast. His electric personality is one many hockey fans have learned to love.
#77 Pierre Turgeon
Number 77 was a tough one for me with guys like Ray Borque, Adam Oates, and Paul Coffey as possible candidates. However, my favorite 77 was always Pierre Turgeon. The French names just sound great in hockey, and the guy was a threat on offense. Turgeon is the highest- scoring player in NHL history to be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame, but not yet inducted. Turgeon currently serves as the Offensive Coordinator for the Los Angeles Kings (didn’t even know that was a thing).
#78 Beau Bennett
Although his time in St Louis was shorter than his time in the emergency room, Beau has always been one of my favorites. Mainly because he grew up playing inline hockey, which is something close to my heart. Bennett was a highly sought after prospect from the University of Denver, and even though his name isn’t engraved on the cup he technically won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016.
#79 Alexei Yashin
Alexei Yashin was one of my favorite players to watch growing up. The guy is most famous for being the 1st overall pick in the expansion draft of the Ottawa Senators in 1992. Yashin didn’t make his debut until the 1994 season, and what a debut it was, scoring 79 points in his rookie season. Yashin’s time with the Senators came to an end when he was traded to the Islanders in 2001. Soon after the trade, Mike Milbury and the Islanders organization signed Yashin to a ten year, $87.5 million contract, which eventually lead to his demise.
#80 Geoff Sanderson
Sanderson was around the NHL for 17 seasons, and ended with an exact total of 700 points. I remember Geoff being a star forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets during their first few seasons in the league. In fact, Geoff was the first player to ever score a hat trick for the Blue Jackets organization.
#81 Phil Kessel
Phil “The Thrill” Kessel is an obvious choice. The American forward is an inspiration to everyone, proving you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Kessel may not look like your typical hockey player, but his speed and sniping skills prove you otherwise. Kessel was basically ran out of town in Toronto, and was a key part of the Pittsburgh Penguins 2016 and 2017 teams. Recently he was chased out of Pittsburgh, and calls Arizona home. We miss you Phil, we really do.
#82 Martin Straka
Similar to Alexei Kovalev, Martin Straka was around during some of the Penguins toughest seasons. The Czechoslovakian center was basically the speed racer of hockey. Straka’s speedy reputation made him a threat to his opponent on every shift.
#83 Ales Hemsky
The filthy dangles of Ales Hemsky still probably haunt defensemen to this day. Hemsky was always entertaining to watch, his speed and skills were among some of the best in the league. Hemsky hasn’t played in an NHL game since 2017, BUT he’s not retired.
#84 Guillame Latendresse
Just like I said earlier, the French names are perfect for hockey and Latendresse is another example of that. Latendresse was a solid forward, who played for the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, and Ottawa Senators throughout his NHL career.
#85 Rostislav Olesz
The six foot two inches defenseman was the 7th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. His decent size made him a physical stay at home defenseman. Olesz was known for his big hits and shut down defense.
#86 Wojtek Wolski
The Polish-Canadian was projected to be drafted 10th-15th, but fell to the 21st overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Wolski was charged with assault for beating up a man shortly before the draft. After further investigation, the case was dismissed because Wolski was defending his girlfriend at the time. Wolski went on to have a successful career in the NHL, and currently plays professionally in the Czech Extreliga.
#87 Sidney Crosby
Sid “The Kid” Crosby, is one of the best superstars in the game. Although he is not a kid anymore, Sid continues to play as if he is a teenager in the backyard. Skating circles around his opponents, making behind the back passes, and sniping goalies from one knee. The guy is everything you could ever ask for in a player, and you know he is successful when the rest of NHL fans go out of their way to boo the best player in the game.
#88 Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane has some of the best hands in the game, don’t believe me? Just watch his puck-handling videos on YouTube. Kane has been a huge piece of the Chicago Blackhawks success since his arrival, and he is known for being the first US-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy.
#89 Sam Gagner
The sixth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Gagner has always been one of my favorites. His speed and offensive prowess make him entertaining to watch every shift he takes. It seems like Gagner has been playing in the league forever with the amount of teams he has played for, but the guy is only 30 years old and still has a few years left in him.
#90 Ryan O’Reilly
The recent Stanley Cup winner played a key role in the St Louis Blues success. In fact, Ryan was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy (most valuable player in playoffs). Ryan O’Reilly plays a physical style game laying big hits, and scoring timely goals every time he is on the ice.
#91 Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin is one of my favorite players in the NHL right now. So much so, I wear my Seguin Dallas Stars jersey to Penguins games whenever the Stars are in town. Seguin is consistent every season, and for that reason he’s always a valuable asset to my fantasy hockey team rosters. Since his debut in the 2010-2011 season, Tyler has managed to make six appearance in the NHL All-Star game.
#92 Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog slid into my favorite players list in 2012, with his game winning goal in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks. Literally, slid. After scoring the OT winner, Landeskog slid across the ice and fell to his knees in happiness. The 19 year old captain made his presence known, and continues to contribute to the Avalanche’s success in today’s NHL.
#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
The Edmonton Oilers took RNH with the 1st overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The most surprising thing about Nugent-Hopkins is after all this time he is still with the Oilers organization. The team has been a merry-go-round for prospects, and you have to feel bad for Nugent-Hopkins. Despite being left in Edmonton, RNH has always been a consistent offensive threat, and his skills are fun to watch. TFTB’s biggest fan Brian Fera is also a huge RNH fan, and his contact name in my phone is none other than, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
#94 Ryan Smyth
One of the best power forwards to ever play the game, Ryan Smyth ended his NHL career after 19 seasons. Smyth style of play was an inspiration to me, so much so that I chose to wear number 94 in honor of him during my college inline hockey days. Grant it, a lot of other numbers I picked were already taken, but being named Ryan and playing a similar style of game made number 94 the perfect choice.
#95 Aleksey Morozov
From the 1996-1997 season to the 2003-2004 seasons Pittsburgh fans were embraced by the presence of the one the only Aleksey Morozov. Often called, “The Devil Killer,” most of Morozov’s career was devoted to crushing the hopes and dreams of New Jersey Devils fans and players with his offensive success. No lie, Marty Brodeur was quoted saying he had legit nightmares about Morozov scoring on him. Sadly, Morozov’s NHL career ended sooner than we hoped. After his NHL success was over, he become the face of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.
#96 Tomas Holmstrom
Tomas Holmstrom was a goalie’s nightmare. Standing at six feet tall, Holmstrom made it his mission to make his presence known, screening the goalie on every shot his teammates would take. Holmstrom’s career was a successful one, with him winning four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings organization.
#97 Jeremy Roenick
Before there was that McDavid kid (long story), there was the ole JR. Many people know him today as a charismatic hockey analyst until recently, but JR could play. The American born player is one of the few who have scored 500 career goals. Despite having a tremendous eighteen year run, Roenick never won a Stanley Cup. Sorry pal.
#98 Brian Lawton
Before Jesse Puljujarvi and Mikhail Sergachev made their NHL debuts, Brian Lawton was the first player to wear number 98. However, Brian Lawton was never a big fan of the number. In fact, he only wore the number two seasons before changing to number 8, because of the constant comparisons to Wayne Gretzky’s number 99. Brian Lawton now calls the NHL Network home, continuing his love for the game as an analyst.
#99 Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky is often referred to as, “The Great One,” and we all know why. Gretzky is currently the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player. Sportswriters, hockey fans, NHL coaches and players, and the NHL in general have named Wayne Gretkzy the greatest player of all time. In fact, the league has retired the number 99, so it can never be worn again.
Thank you all again for following me along in this four part series of “My Favorite NHL players.” I know you may not agree with all of my picks, but the fun of writing these articles was remembering all of the players I grew up watching. Remembering the times I pretended to be those superstars in our backyard hockey games, and most importantly sharing the love of hockey to all of you.