Who Wore It Best: Number 15

A host of players, ten in all, have sported the number fifteen with the Colorado Avalanche.  And they are quite the mixed bag of positions, talent, and tenures. Take a look and pick your favorite via the survey at the end. Will you choose the player with the overall best stats, or one that had the best season while bearing the one-and-five?

Josef Marha: C 1995-1996 (#15) , 1996-1998 (#10), 19GP, 2-7-9, 4PIM

Drafted in the 2nd round by the Nordiques, Marha found himself unable to crack the Avs roster. Instead he was an occasional call-up for his three seasons with the Avalanche. Traded to Anaheim for two seasons, the Czech center finally skated a full season on an NHL team with Chicago. Even then he was known as the, “Captain of the 4th Line.”

Marha finally found his fit in 2000 when he returned to Europe to play for Davos of the Swiss League. His participation over the next twelve years would include five National League titles.

Yves Sarault: LW 1996-1998, 35GP, 3-1-4, 8PIM

Montreal drafted Sarault in the third round of the 1991 draft. Playing mostly in the AHL, he’s played a handful of games for Montreal, Calgary, Colorado, Ottawa, Atlanta, and Nashville.

Yves distinguished himself in an Avalanche jersey during the 97-98 season in which he incurred a shooting percentage of 100%. (He played two games for the Avs, took one shot on goal, and scored.)

Mike Gaul: D 1998-1999, 1GP, 0-0-0, 0PIM

Gaul went to the LA Kings in the ninth round of the 1991 draft. He didn’t play a game with the Kings, but wandered through a variety of teams and leagues before getting his first NHL game with the Colorado Avalanche. His NHL career consisted of two more games, this time with Columbus. Gaul finished out his professional playing via three seasons, and as many teams, in the German League.

Ted Crowley: D 1998–1999, 7GP, 0-1-1, 2PIM

Toronto chose Crowley in the fourth round in 1988. He finally tasted the big league for 21 games with the Hartford Whalers in the 93-94 season. His next crack at the NHL wouldn’t come until 1998 with the Colorado Avalanche. After recording a single assist in seven games, the Avs traded Crowley to the Islanders. Like his number mate above, Ted went to Germany for his remaining career.

Brian Rolston: LW 1999-2000, 50GP, 8-10-18, 12PIM

Rolston’s stat line suggests he spent the whole season with the Avs, perhaps shortened by some injury. In reality, he skated with three different teams that year. Colorado happened to be his longest.

Brian was drafted in 1991 by the New Jersey Devils and played for that organization through the first eleven games of the 99-00 season. At the trade deadline later in the season, Rolston was shipped off to Boston as part of the trade that brought Ray Bourque to Denver. He finished off that season by playing sixteen games in a Bruins sweater.

Rolston’s eventual career spanned seventeen seasons and 1,256 NHL games. He also played for the Minnesota Wild and the New York Islanders. A versatile player, he was a staple on the penalty kill and accumulated thirty-three short-handed tallies.

Brad Larsen: LW 1997-1998 (#40), 2000-2003 (#9), 2003-2004 (#15), 113GP,  5-13-18, 73PIM

Originally drafted in the third round by Ottawa in 1995, Larsen’s rights were traded to Colorado the following year. The Avalanche, however, did not sign him so Brad re-entered the draft in 1997. Colorado then chose him with the 87th pick.

The next four seasons were spent mostly with the Hershey Bears with occasional call-ups to Denver. He earned a roster position with the Avalanche for the 01-02 season. Larsen was sent back to Hershey the following year, mostly due to frequent injuries. Atlanta claimed Brad off waivers in February of 2004.

Larsen enjoyed better success as part of the Thrashers until surgery for a sports hernia effectively ended his career in 2008. Since then he has gone on to coach in the AHL and currently is an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Andrew Brunette: LW 2005-2008, 265GP, 78-144-222, 108PIM

Brunette had a surprisingly productive NHL career for having been chosen in the seventh round. Washington chose him at number 174 in the 1993 draft. He stayed in the Capital’s organization getting occasional NHL call-ups through he 97-98 season. In 1998, the newly minted Nashville Predators snatched Andrew in the expansion draft. The following year, he went to the expansion Atlanta Thrashers. Atlanta sent him to the Wild in 2001 where he stayed for the next three seasons.

Coming to Colorado in 2005 as a free agent, Brunette played some of the best hockey of his career. In particular, during the 06-07 season, he produced 83 points in 82 games including a career high 27 goals. Amazing how being Joe Sakic’s wing-man can boost one’s statistics. Andrew also developed a reputation as an iron man, playing every game though his three seasons with the Avs, along with nineteen playoff games.

In 2008 Brunette left Denver to return to Minnesota. He never duplicated his success as experienced in the mile-high climate of Denver. After three more seasons with the Wild and a partial stint in Chicago, Andrew hung up his skates and took an assistant-ship with Minnesota’s front office.

Matt Hendricks: C 2008-2010, 66GP, 9-7-16, 87PIM

Hendricks went to Nashville in the fourth round of the 2000 draft although he wouldn’t end up playing for them until midway in his career a dozen years later. His first NHL experience came with the Colorado Avalanche in 2008. In the meantime, Matt turned down Nashville’s offer and signed with Boston. He didn’t end up skating with the Bruins but found himself part of a trade that sent him west to Denver.

Hendricks impressed the Avs enough to be nominated by the organization for the Bill Masterton trophy during the 09-10 season. Although, the front office wasn’t enough impressed to also reward him with a qualifying offer following the season.

Hendricks spent the next three seasons with the Washington Capitals having made their roster on a professional try-out. From there he played for Nashville for most of the 2013-14 season until traded to Edmonton where he played the next three seasons. Matt became a part of the Winnipeg Jets for 2017-2018 as a free agent.

Pierre-Alexandre (PA) Parenteau: RW 2012-2014, 110GP, 33-46-79, 70PIM

A ninth round pick for the Ducks in 2001, Paranteau looked like he would be a career AHLer. five years later, he was traded to Chicago. He embarked on a pattern of getting traded every two years going from the Blackhawks, to the Rangers, then the Islanders, and finally to Colorado.

Even with the Avs, PAP only lasted two seasons. During that tenure, he found good chemistry with Matt Duchene. For the 12-13 season, Parenteau led in goals with 18, and tied with Duchene for total points at 43. He also played in his 200th NHL game on Feb 14, 2014: a 4-3 win over the Wild.

To begin the 2014 season, he spent just a term or less with Montreal, Toronto, New Jersey, and Nashville. Parenteau spent the 17-18 season in Yekaterinburg in the KHL.

Duncan Siemens: D 2014-2015 (#16), 2015-2018 (#15), 25GP, 1-1-2, 25PIM

Colorado chose Siemens 11th in the first round of the 2011 draft. He was lauded as one of the best defensemen in that year’s selection. His development suffered from persistent injuries, missing significant time each of three seasons with the Lake Eire Monsters. His first NHL game came the last date of the 14-15 season against the Chicago Blackhawks (he wore #16). Over the next three seasons, Siemens saw sporadic call-ups to the Avalanche, including all five games of the 2018 playoffs.

Number 15 becomes available for the 2018-2019 season since Colorado did not give Duncan a qualifying offer. He leaves the organization as a free agent.

 

Another one of those ten jersey numbers which have been used by ten or more Avalanche players . Now you get to choose which of these ten wore #15 the best!

[qsm quiz=51]
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