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The Greatest Number 18 in Coyote Franchise History

25 men have worn the number 18 in some way or fashion in Coyote history. With that many different wearers, it's not surprising that no one wore it for more than 3 seasons, save for Bryan Erickson who wore it for four seasons from 1991-1994 but only appeared in 73 games in that stretch. Parsing through all of those players, there are three who jump out from the list.

You have Tyson Nash who Jaime covered earlier today. While he's currently the person most associated with Coyote culture out of all the options, his time in Phoenix as a player wasn't spectacular. If there wasn't some other quality choices, Nash might win this, but he's got a tough road against these other two choices.

Serge Savard is a Hall-of Fame defensman who spent 17 seasons in the NHL from 1966-1983. His final two years were in Winnipeg. He joined the Jets in the 1981 season and played 47 games that year, scoring 2 goals and 5 assists. The following year, Serge would improve greatly upon that effort. He played in 76 games and scored 4 goals and 16 assists. He also played in all 7 playoff games the Jets made in those two seasons, scoring no points in a 3-1 series loss to St. Louis and a 3-0 sweep at the hands of the Oilers. Savard retired after the '83 season.

The last player up for this honor is Dallas Drake. Most well known for wearing number 11 while a member of the original Coyotes, Drake actually began his Winnipeg career in the 18 sweater. His first two years as a Jet, Drake only saw action in 58 games, scoring 11 goals and 23 assists for a combined 34 points those seasons. In the 95-96 campaign, Drake switched to number 11 and saw his numbers jump to 19 goals and 20 assists in 69 games. After the finish of the '96 season, the Jets moved to Phoenix, became the Coyotes, and Dallas Drake became a key component of those early Coyote teams. Over the next four seasons, Drake played in 255 games for the Coyotes, scoring 52 goals with 100 assists for a total of 152 points. Included in all that was Drake's career best year in 1999-2000 where he collected 15 goals and 30 assists for a career high 45 points in 79 games. He was also a first class pest and penalty killer for the Coyotes and was a perennial plus player for the Coyotes his final 3 seasons. Drake was fan favorite in Phoenix, particularly in the what was known as the Doghouse, the obstructed view seats in the former America West Arena. Drake's popularity was also spurred by local Phoenix band Stone Bogart who wrote a fun sing along song to their favorite hockey player. Unfortunately for Coyotes fans, the expansion Minnesota Wild would claim Drake in the expansion draft after the Coyotes left him unprotected on June 23, 2000.

Most of Drake's success for the franchise came while wearing the number 11, for the purposes of this countdown he will be known for the number 18. And because of that, he is the greatest number 18 in Phoenix Coyotes history.

Five for Howling is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Phoenix Coyotes and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor(s) of Five for Howling

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