Eddy Jones The Hockey Writers
They Wore It Once: Ducks Players and Their Unique Numbers
The Anaheim Ducks have had several iconic sweater numbers throughout their 26-year history. At the top of that list are Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer, with their numbers, 8, 9 and 27 respectively, retired by the franchise. You can expect a few more names to be added to that list in the future, with Ducks fans clamoring for the likes of Jean-Sebastien Giguere to be added and the eventual additions of Ryan Getzlaf’s number 15 and Corey Perry’s number 10.
Related: Anaheim Ducks’ Logo History
Since 1993, over 400 players have put on a Ducks’ sweater, yet 17 numbers have never been worn, those being 66, 69, 72, 78, 79, 81, 82, 84, 85, 87, 89, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, and 98. The most worn numbers are 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, and 26. All of which have been worn by 13 different players, including some notable names such as; Ryan Kesler, Andy McDonald, Ruslan Salei, Chris Pronger, and Samuel Pahlsson. However, there are 12 numbers that were worn by just one player in franchise history.
The list ranges from Hall of Fame members to those who played only two games in the NHL. Take a look at this unique list and their impact on the Ducks organization.
#57: David Perron (2016)
The Ducks acquired David Perron from the Pittsburgh Penguins in Jan. 2016. They sent Carl Hagelin back the other way after acquiring him from the New York Rangers during the summer. Both players were looking for a fresh start. Hagelin only had 12 points in 43 games with Anaheim, and Perron had 16 points in 43 games with Pittsburgh. The change of scenery was an instant success for Perron and the Ducks. He found chemistry on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and posted 20 points in 28 games to end the season.
Despite a successful stint in Orange County, he decided to sign with the St. Louis Blues in free agency. The idea of returning to where his career began and chasing a Stanley Cup was too good to pass up. He spent one season with the Vegas Golden Knights before re-joining the Blues and ultimately winning a Stanley Cup in the 2018-19 season. Safe to say things turned out pretty good for Perron.
#59: Nick Sorensen (2017)
Originally drafted by the Ducks in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, it took Nick Sorensen three seasons before he would get his NHL debut. With stops in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and Swedish Hockey League (SHL) along the way, he finally made his NHL debut on Oct. 13, 2016 against the Dallas Stars. He spent five games in the NHL, recording one assist in his final game against the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent the remainder of the season in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the San Diego Gulls, posting 22 points in 48 games played.
In May 2017, he signed a contract in Sweden with Linkoping HC, leaving the NHL behind and pursuing a professional career in his home country. He’s since spent the last three seasons in Sweden, joining Rogle BK for the second half of the 2019-20 season. Although he only played a handful of games for the Ducks, he still remains the only player to wear the number 59.
#60: Brendan Mikkelson (2009-2011)
Another former Ducks’ draft pick, Brendan Mikkelson was selected 31st overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Drafted out of the Western Hockey League (WHL), he spent two more seasons there and two in the AHL before joining up with the Ducks for the 2008-09 season. He’d spend the next two and a half seasons splitting time between the NHL and AHL. Ultimately, his Ducks career would come to an end after he was picked up off waivers by the Calgary Flames in Oct. 2010. He played a total of 67 games with the Ducks organization, putting up five assists.
Since leaving, he spent time with the Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning before eventually heading to Europe. He’s played in Sweden in the SHL, Germany in the DEL, and most recently with Salzburg EC in Austria.
#68: Gregg Naumenko (2001)
One of the most interesting names on the list, Gregg Naumenko played a total of two NHL games in his career, both with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He was signed as a free agent out of the University of Alaska-Anchorage in 1999. His first two professional seasons came in the AHL for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, where he played in 89 regular season games, posting a 37-37-10 record.
His NHL debut came on March 21, 2001 against the Dallas Stars in an 8-0 loss in which he came in to replace Jean-Sebastien Giguere. His first start came on April 6, 2001 against the Phoenix Coyotes. He allowed 5 goals on 23 shots against. Naumenko’s final six seasons of his professional career were spent splitting time between the ECHL and the AHL.
#70: Dennis Rasmussen (2018)
The Ducks signed Dennis Rasmussen to a one-year deal after he spent two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. He was brought in to replace outgoing center Nate Thompson, who had signed a contract with the Ottawa Senators. He had 17 points in 122 games with the Blackhawks. After joining the Ducks, Rasmussen posted 4 points in 27 NHL games. He was sent down to San Diego, clearing waivers on Dec. 29, and amassed 10 points in 17 games played.
Rasmussen’s time in Anaheim was cut short due to the emergence of Derek Grant and the acquisition of Adam Henrique. His contract was ultimately terminated and he chose to return to Sweden. (from ‘Ducks set to cut loose Dennis Rasmussen by putting center on waivers,’ OC Register, 02/12/2018)
He’s spent the last two seasons in Russia, in the KHL, playing for Magnitogorsk Metallurg.
#75: Jaycob Megna (2017-2018)
A former seventh-round draft pick and second-to-last selection of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Jaycob Megna was always a long shot to make the NHL. So, the fact that he was able to play 43 games for the Ducks is impressive in its own right. After finishing his college career with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, he spent three seasons in the AHL. His NHL debut came on April 6, 2017 against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was the only NHL game he would play in during the 2016-17 season.
Megna split the next two seasons between the NHL and AHL, playing in 42 NHL games and posting one goal and four assists. He eventually signed a one-year deal with the Golden Knights last offseason. He played the entire season in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves, amassing 10 points in 60 games played.
#80: Ilya Bryzgalov (2015)
The infamous, universe-loving, Russian netminder found himself in Anaheim for a second stint after starting his career with the team from 2002-08. Bryzgalov is best known for his time in Anaheim and helping the Ducks win the Stanley Cup during the 2006-07 season. However, his second time around wasn’t as successful. He spent parts of seven seasons playing for the Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild.
He was brought in to back-up Frederik Andersen and allow the Ducks to keep John Gibson in the AHL. He had originally been with the team on a professional tryout before signing a one-year contract in Dec. 2014. Bryzgalov played eight games for the Ducks picking up one win, while allowing 23 goals on 150 shots against. He posted a .847 save percentage and a 4.92 goals against average. His eight games in Anaheim ended up being the last games of his NHL career.
#83: Kalle Kossila (2017-2019)
Another college free agent, Kalle Kossila was signed to a two-year, entry-level contract out of St. Cloud State. He had an impressive first professional season with San Diego in the AHL posting 48 points in 65 games played. It was enough to earn him an NHL debut on Jan. 25, 2017 against the Edmonton Oilers. His next two seasons were spent mostly in the AHL; however, he did feature in 18 NHL games, amassing two goals and one assist.
Although he didn’t develop into an every-day contributor at the NHL level, he’s still been an effective player in the AHL. Hence why the Maple Leafs signed him to a two-year, two-way contract in July 2019. He had 6 points in 12 games with the Toronto Marlies during the 2019-20 season.
#88: Jamie McGinn (2016)
With the rising popularity of the number 88 thanks to Patrick Kane, Brent Burns, David Pastrnak, and of course Eric Lindros, it’s surprising that the Ducks have only had one player wear the number. Jamie McGinn arrived in Anaheim thanks to a trade deadline acquisition from the Buffalo Sabres. The Ducks were gearing up for a playoff run and sent a conditional third-round pick in return. He posted 12 points in 21 regular season games with Anaheim, and two goals in seven playoff games.
Like Perron, he also left Anaheim in free agency, signing a three-year, $10 million contract with the Arizona Coyotes. He spent one year in Arizona before being traded to the Florida Panthers. It’s been a tough journey back for McGinn after undergoing back surgery in 2017. He’s signed professional tryout agreement’s with both the Carolina Hurricanes and Blues, but only managed to play two games for the Charlotte Checkers during the 2019-20 season.
#90: Giovanni Fiore (2018)
The Ducks signed Giovanni Fiore to an entry-level contract after he posted 50 goals and 90 points in 61 games in his final season in the QMJHL. He surprised everyone by making the Ducks’ roster out of camp and made his NHL debut in their second game of the 2017-18 season against the Flyers. The remainder of his time in the organization was spent with the Gulls in the AHL. He amassed 41 points in 88 games played with San Diego. He was eventually traded to the Coyotes in Dec. 2018 for Trevor Murphy. Most recently, he played for both the Marlies and Ontario Reign during the 2019-20 season.
#91: Sergei Fedorov (2004-2006)
Known almost exclusively for his time with the Detroit Red Wings, Sergei Fedorov made the choice to sign with the Ducks only one year removed from winning the Stanley Cup. It’s a signing that had several moving parts contribute to its conclusion. Fresh off winning a Stanley Cup with Detroit during the 2001-02 season, Fedorov and company were swept in the first round of the 2002-03 Playoffs by the Ducks. Ultimately, they came up just short of winning it all, losing Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final. Paul Kariya left for the Colorado Avalanche in free agency and the Ducks were desperately searching for a replacement.
Meanwhile in Detroit, Fedorov was still in the shadow of franchise superstar Steve Yzerman. In what many thought was an attempt for him to finally be the “face of a franchise,” Fedorov signed with the Ducks in free agency in 2003. His first and only season in Anaheim was successful for him individually. He led the team in scoring with 31 goals and 65 points in 80 games played. However, the team failed to get back to the postseason of almost winning it all. After the lockout in 2004-05, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 2005 for Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin.
In an era where the number 91 has been made popular by the likes of Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin, Vladimir Tarasenko, and John Tavares, it’s only a matter of time before someone joins Fedorov on this list.
#93: Anatoli Semenov (1996)
Similar to Bryzgalov, Anatoli Semenov wore two numbers for the Ducks across his two stints with the team. He was a founding member of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, joining the team via the 1993 Expansion Draft. He wore the number 19 during his first season and a half. He was dealt to the Flyers in March 1995 for Milos Holan. He amassed 37 points in 64 games played.
Related: Anaheim Ducks’ Jersey History
Just over a year later he was dealt back to Anaheim for Brian Wesenberg. He only played in 12 games for Anaheim during the 1995-96 season, but was able to put up 10 points. It was during this time that he became the only Ducks’ player to ever wear the number 93. He retired one season later after playing 25 games with the Sabres.
Which Numbers Are Next?
The Ducks have 17 numbers that have never been worn by a single player in their franchise history. That’s bound to change in the next decade as more players make their mark on the team. You’d have to expect some of the current players who’ve worn it once to have their names taken off this list as well. At some point the Ducks will have another player don the #88 or #91. With the likes of Trevor Zegras, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Brayden Tracey on the way, there are plenty of opportunities for some of these numbers to be added to the list.
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