It is far too early to know if Quebecer Alexis Lafrenière will succeed in making history in the National Hockey League (LNH), but what we already know is that he does not suffer from “triskaïdékaphobia” , that is to say the fear of the number 13. Lafrenière indeed chose to wear this number with the Rangers of New York, since the 11 which he endorsed in the juniors, with the Oceanic of Rimouski, was hoisted in the heights of Madison Square Garden in honor of Mark Messier.
Will Lafrenière one day be associated with 13, as Mario Lemieux is with 66? Maybe … Until then, here is the list of the best players among the 114 who have already worn 13 in the NHL:
He is possibly the most influential player to popularize No. 13 in the NHL. Those nostalgic for the Nordics particularly remember Mats Sundin. The Swedish forward had 334 points in 324 games with the Quebec club, from 1990 to 1994, before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. His most productive season was with the Nordiques when, in 1992-1993, he collected 114 points, including 47 goals. Sundin played 13 seasons in Toronto, where he was a long time captain, before concluding his career with the Vancouver Canucks. The Swede finally totaled 1349 points in the regular season, which places him 28th in NHL history.
Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk won the Stanley Cup twice with the Detroit Red Wings, in 2002 and 2008. In 14 NHL campaigns, all played with the Wings, he had 918 points in the regular season. The forward added 113 points, including 42 goals, during the playoffs. In terms of individual honors, Datsyuk has won the Lady-Byng (gentleman) trophy four times and the Selke (best defensive forward) three times.
Selanne, Gaudreau and Hischier …
Among the other great players in the NHL, some will recall that Teemu Selanne wore the 13 in his debut with the Winnipeg Jets, as well as partially with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. For most of his career, however, Selanne preferred the number 8. Among the current stars, Johnny Gaudreau, of the Calgary Flames, and young Nico Hischier, of the New Jersey Devils, sport the famous number 13.
– Alexis Lafrenière will be only the ninth player to wear number 13 in Rangers history. Among his predecessors, there is Sergei Nemchinov who, with such a bib, was a member of the champion team in 1994. The other former Rangers who donned the 13 are: Jack Stoddard, Bob Brooke, Valeri Kamensky, Richard Scott, Nikolai Zherdev, Daniel Carcillo and Kevin Hayes.