There are exactly 5 weeks until the Sharks take the ice in Los Angeles for the first game of the 2014-2015 season. Today we look at the best number 35 in the history of the San Jose Sharks. Today, we look at a goalie who has surely left his mark on San Jose.
Evgeni Nabokov is mostly known for being number 20 during his 10 year stint with the San Jose Sharks, but for the first three years of his Sharks career, he was number 35. Nabokov was drafted in the 9th round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, and it took him 5 years before he actually cracked the NHL roster. But he immediately made a statement in San Jose. In the 2000-2001 season, his first as a starter for the Sharks, he started 66 games, had a save percentage of .915% and a goals allowed average of 2.19. He won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year and he clinched his starting spot with the San Jose Sharks.
Nabokov would be the starter in San Jose for the next ten years, and even though he struggled in the postseason, he is arguably the best goalie to ever put on a Sharks sweater. Even though for seven years he wore the number 20 on his sweater, he also put up great numbers with the number 35. He also put his name in NHL history as the number 35. He has scored a goal in an NHL game. And while we’re on the subject of great “Nabby” moments, let’s take a look at one of the greatest saves in NHL history. (Yes, he was wearing number 20 on that save, but still, how incredible was that save? Saved their season. Well, for about 3 more periods at least.)
The other contender for the best number 35 in San Jose Sharks history was Vesa Toskala. But it really isn’t a question of who is better between Toskala and Nabokov.
Tune in tomorrow for the best number 34 in San Jose Sharks history. Man, I miss hockey.