Which means I get to move on to my favorite annual tradition: Analyzing jersey number changes.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 22, 2021
Between returning players from last year’s roster, incoming players who had already had their numbers announced, and players whose numbers were revealed by Detroit’s prospects tournament roster, there weren’t a lot of surprises left.
The biggest surprise is probably Taro Hirose switching from #67 to #25. He’d previously switched to #67 after debuting wearing #53, specifically requesting a number with a seven in it, so switching to a number without a seven was unexpected, to me.
Additionally, Hirose’s switch makes Mitchell Stephens having picked #22 interesting. Stephens had worn #67 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and seemingly wore it whenever his preferred #27 wasn’t available. With #27 taken by Michael Rasmussen in Detroit and #67 vacated by Hirose, I’m surprised that Stephens went with #22 instead.
Two players making their returns to the Detroit organization also have some slightly-surprising numbers.
Luke Witkowski will wear #20 in Detroit’s camp after having worn #28 in his first stint with the Wings. I’d wondered if Gustav Lindstrom would give up #28 but he keeps it, and Witkowski’s usual alternate number #82 went to summer free agent signing Jordan Oesterle.
Dan Renouf had previously worn #77 in Detroit but that number is now assigned to Oscar Plandowski. In camp, he’d also worn the #20 taken by Witkowski, leaving him switching to the #21 made available by Dennis Cholowski‘s departure.
The full training camp roster is as follows: