A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 24

Salei - Jeff Gross, Getty

The number 24 has been fairly unpopular by small numbers standards. Since 1980 there have been 14 men to have worn the jersey number. Three men wore it in 1980!

Gilles Bilodeau- 1980. Gilles was drafted 121st overall in the 1975 WHA Amateur Draft by the Toronto Torros. He played 9 games for the Nords in 1980. He had one assist and 25 penalty minutes.

Ron Chipperfield - 1980-81. Ron was drafted by the California Seals (seriously) 17th overall in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft and 20th overall in the 1974 WHA Secret Amateur Draft. He played four games for the Nords, earning one assist and one penalty.

Terry Johnson - 1980-83. If you are thinking "finally a guy who wore it for a while", think again. In his four years with the club Terry played in 25 games, had no goals, 2 assists... but he did manage to get 55 penalty minutes.

Andre Dore - 1984 Andre matches Terry in the games played department. The former 60th overall pick played a total of 25 games for the Nordiques, he had a goal, 16 assists and 25 penalty minutes for the team.

Jean-Marc Gaulin - 1985. Jean-Marc was drafted by the Nordiques 53rd overall in the 1981 Draft.Altough he played for the Nords for four seasons, he only wore the 24 for one season. In that time he played 22 games, had 3 goals, 3 assists and 8 penalty minutes.

Robert Picard - 1986-90 Finally. A player who has more than 25 games in Nords gear! In that time Robert, thea third overall pick by the Washington Capitals in 1977, played 309 games, had 25 goals, 82 assists and 319 penalty minutes.

Michel Petit - 1990-91. Michel played a total of 82 games for the Nords. He had 16 goals, 31 assists and 262 penalty minutes in that time.

Wayne Van Dorp - 1992. Wayne played 24 games for the Nords, he had 3 goals, 5 assists and 109 penalty minutes in those 24 games.

Paxton Schulte - 1994. Paxton was the Nordiques 6th round draft pick in 1992. He played 1 game for the Nords. He had no points and two penalty minutes in that game.

Jon Klemm - 1995 - 2001. I know, you're thinking "Finally a name I recognize". The 6'2 defenseman was undrafted and signed as a free agent with the Quebec Nordiques in May 1991. His first full NHL season didn't come until 1995 - and that's when he started wearing the number 24. Jon raised the Cup with the Avalanche in both 1996 and in 2001. In this time he played 393 games, had 28 goals, 55 assists, 206 penalty minutes and averaged a +12 +/- in the regular season. In the playoffs he played 94 games, had 6 goals, 6 assists and 41 penalty minutes.

Chris McAllister - 2003-04. Chris was drafted 40th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1995 Draft. He played a total of 48 games, had no goals, 1 assist and 88 penalty minutes.

Chris Gratton - 2004. The former third overall pick only played 13 regular season games with the Avalanche and 11 playoff games. During the regular season Chris had 2 goals, 1 assist and 18 penalty minutes. During the playoffs he had no points and 27 penalty minutes.

Antti Laaksonen - 2006-07 Antti was drafted in the 8th round by the Bruins. He played two season in Colorado. In that time he appeared in 122 games, had 19 goals, 19 assists and 56 penalty minutes in the regular season. He played in 9 playoff games, and had 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes.

Ruslan Salei - 2008-10. Ruslan was drafted ninth overall by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (and, oh, they were once Mighty) in 1996. He played 101 regular season games and 11 playoff games for the Avalanche. In the regular season he had 8 goals, 26 assists and 105 penalty minutes and was an average -1.333(etc). During the playoffs he had one goal, 4 assists and 4 penalty minutes.

Since Ruslan's death no one has worn the jersey.

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