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Vancouver Canucks announce jersey numbers for all seven free agent signings

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Photo credit:© Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 day ago
On Wednesday evening, the Vancouver Canucks announced the numbers all seven of their free agent signings will be donning when they suit up this season.
Out of the seven new arrivals, Jake DeBrusk (#74), Kiefer Sherwood (#44), Vincent Desharnais (#73), and Jiri Patera (#30) kept the numbers they used with their previous teams. As for the other three, they have varying reasons for having to change their numbers.
 
For Danton Heinen, his usual #43 is being taken by captain Quinn Hughes. Interestingly enough, this won’t be the first time Heinen has worn the #20, as he last had it while in college as a member of the Denver Pioneers.
Derek Forbort has already worn four different numbers throughout his career, the most recent one being the #28. While that number is not officially retired by the team, the last Canuck to wear it was Luc Bourdon, who passed away far too young from a motorcycle accident. Given the amount of criticism that Ian Cole faced when he initially took the #28 last year before correctly switching to #82 instead, Forbort did the right thing in continuing to honour Bourdon by not taking his number and instead going with #27.
As for Nate Smith, it is not entirely clear why exactly he decided to go with #83, which is already an uncommon number in sports. If I were to make an educated guess, it could be him combining the #13 he wore with the Coyotes and the #8 he wore with the Minnesota State Mavericks.
Of note, Desharnais, DeBrusk, and Smith would each be the third player in Canucks history to wear their respective numbers with all three being initially worn within the last five years. We can also expect to see a different number for Aatu Raty as his usual numbers have now been taken up by the likes of Heinen and Forbert. A good guess is he opts to go with the #23 since he has worn it before while in Finland and the number is now available with Elias Lindholm departing for the Bruins in free agency.

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