Gophers' jersey numbers hit by additional inflation
In nearly a century of Gophers men’s hockey, only four players ever had worn a sweater number higher than 50 prior to Sampo Ranta arriving from Finland in 2018 and donning number 58. That has
MINNEAPOLIS — In nearly a century of Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey, only four players ever had worn a sweater number higher than 50 prior to Sampo Ranta arriving from Finland in 2018 and donning number 58. Since then, like the prices at the meat counter of your local grocery store, the numbers on the Gophers’ backs just seem to be going up.
Defenseman Matt Staudacher will again wear 55 for his senior season, while sophomores Rhett Pitlick (77) and Matthew Knies (89) will wear inflated digits once again. Among the sizable incoming freshman class, defenseman Ryan Chesley (71), forward Jimmy Snuggerud (81) and forward Logan Cooley (92) will all join the “over 50” crowd.
Knies, who is from Arizona, picked 89 as a freshman because his favorite Coyote from childhood, Mikkel Bodker, wore that number in the NHL. Cooley – who will likely play for the Coyotes someday – picking the largest number in Gophers hockey history was more a matter of math.
“There’s no big reason for it, other than 18 was always my number and obviously (Mason) Nevers has it already,” Cooley said. “I just went with a bigger number, and nine times two is 18, so I went with 92. I thought it looked pretty cool too.”