UND hockey fans may have to take an extra glance or two at their rosters this season.
Thirteen of the 27 players will be new.
In some cases, adjusting to new players in new jersey numbers will be easy. For example, incoming freshman forward Jake Schmaltz will be wearing No. 8, just as his older cousin, Nick, did for two seasons at UND.
In other cases, it won't be so simple. Freshman defenseman Luke Bast will not slide into his older brother Gabe's old No. 2 jersey. Luke will instead wear No. 24.
The 2021-22 UND hockey team has handed out jersey numbers to all 13 newcomers, and fans can start trying to learn them with less than three months to go until the season-opening exhibition game against the University of Manitoba.
The goaltenders will wear fairly routine numbers. Senior transfer Zach Driscoll will wear No. 33 as he did at Bemidji State, while rookie Kaleb Johnson will wear No. 1 and freshman Jakob Hellsten will don No. 32.
Up front, Schmaltz will wear No. 8, while Ashton Calder is No. 16, Matteo Costantini is No. 18, Nick Portz is No. 20, Connor Ford is No. 21 and Jackson Kunz is No. 29.
On defense, Bast will wear No. 24, while Brady Ferner is No. 2, Brent Johnson is No. 6 and Chris Jandric is No. 7.
None of the 14 returning players are changing numbers.
Here are a few other notes about the numbers:
- The blanks are Nos. 3, 5 and 22. It marks the second-straight year that nobody will wear No. 5. The last player to do so was Casey Johnson. Last season, Matt Kiersted wore No. 3 and Shane Pinto wore No. 22.
- Most of UND's transfers are changing numbers from their previous destinations. The only two that are remaining the same are Driscoll (No. 33) and Calder, who also wore No. 16 at Lake Superior State. Ford wore No. 20 for Bowling Green, but will be changing to No. 21. Ferner wore No. 6 at RPI, but is switching to No. 2. And Jandric wore No. 29 at Alaska Fairbanks, but is going to No. 7.
- Kaleb Johnson will wear No. 1, just like his mentor and fellow former Grand Forks Central goaltender, Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. Only one player donned the No. 1 jersey between Lamoureux in 2008 and Johnson. That was Peter Thome, who spent the last four years at UND and will complete his college eligibility this season at Division-I newcomer St. Thomas.
- Jandric will be the first defenseman to wear No. 7 since Travis Roche in 2001. Roche was an All-American that season. Since then, it has been worn by all forwards — first-team All-American Brandon Bochenski, first-team All-American T.J. Oshie, first-team All-American Danny Kristo, Wade Murphy and Zach Yon.
- Portz will be the first forward to wear No. 20 since Matt Watkins from 2005-09. The three players who followed Watkins in the No. 20 jersey — Joe Gleason, Gage Ausmus and Josh Rieger — all played games at forward during their careers, but were naturally defenders.
- Ford will take over the No. 21 jersey from his old teammate, Jackson Keane. Ford and Keane played together in Sioux City during the 2016-17 season. Sioux City won the Anderson Cup for posting the USHL's best regular-season record that year.
- Hellsten will be the first player to wear No. 32 since Aaron Dell from 2009-12. The only players in program history to wear No. 32 are Dell and Dan McKinnon (1947-50). Both Dell and McKinnon were second-team All-Americans.
- No. 29 might fit Jackson Kunz, a big left-handed shooting winger. A couple of previous No. 29s had some similarities to him — Chris VandeVelde from 2006-10 and Brock Nelson from 2010-12. Kunz wore No. 29 in Green Bay.
- The No. 6 jersey continues to go to American-born defensemen. Brent Johnson, who is from the Dallas area, will wear it, following Colton Poolman (East Grand Forks), Paul LaDue (Grand Forks), Zach Jones (Lisle, Ill.), Andy Schneider (Grand Forks), Nate Wright (Alexandria, Minn.), Derrick Byfuglien (Roseau, Minn.), Tim O'Connell (Grand Forks) and Nick Naumenko (Chicago). The last non-American to wear it was Brad Pascall of Coquitlam, B.C. Pascall, who graduated in 1992, is now the assistant general manager of the Calgary Flames.
2021-22 UND hockey jersey numbers
1 Kaleb Johnson, goaltender
2 Brady Ferner, defenseman (transfer from RPI)
4 Cooper Moore, defenseman
6 Brent Johnson, defenseman
7 Chris Jandric, defenseman (transfer from Alaska Fairbanks)
8 Jake Schmaltz, forward
9 Brendan Budy, forward
10 Gavin Hain, forward
11 Griffin Ness, forward
13 Carson Albrecht, forward
14 Jasper Weatherby, forward
15 Ethan Frisch, defenseman
16 Ashton Calder, forward (transfer from Lake Superior State)
17 Riese Gaber, forward
18 Matteo Costantini, forward
19 Mark Senden, forward
20 Nick Portz, forward
21 Connor Ford, forward (transfer from Bowling Green)
24 Luke Bast, defenseman
25 Tyler Kleven, defenseman
26 Jake Sanderson, defenseman
27 Louis Jamernik, forward
28 Judd Caulfield, forward
29 Jackson Kunz, forward
32 Jakob Hellsten, goaltender
33 Zach Driscoll, goaltender (transfer from Bemidji State)
35 Harrison Feeney, goaltender
**Newcomers in bold