As we get lower in the numbers things start to get a little hairy when it comes to details. I scoured the internet for resources on Leafs numbers, and even asked the team itself for help. I’ve done my best so if there are any players missing please let me know. Hockey Reference only goes back to the 50’s, otherwise I used this list.
The 29’s bring us a question. When does new hotness take over from a fan favourite in the past?
Felix Potvin (1991-1999)
Stats: 369GP - 160W - .908sv% - 2.87GAA - 12SO
Calder - 3rd place, 1993
Vezina - 4th place, 1993
Potvin was, when I was a kid, THE goalie in the minds of the kids I grew up with. Yeah Patrick Roy was at the top of his game but he was a smelly Canadiens player and no one liked him in my school. He was drafted in the second round in 1990 by the Leafs, played 91-92 in St. John’s (won AHL rookie of the year) and by the next season he was the Leafs starter for the next six seasons. In the 97-98 off-season the Leafs signed Curtis Joseph. That coupled with a knee injury ended Potvin’s time in Toronto. He was traded to the Islanders with a sixth round pick for Bryan Berard and a sixth. He would play for the Islanders, Canucks, Kings (He’d get Vezina votes again in LA), before ending his career as the Bruins back up in 03-04.
Drake Berehowsky (1991)
Stats: 8GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 25PM
Berehowsky was the Leafs first round pick in 1990, and when he made his NHL debut for eight games in the 90-91 season he wore #29. He would play the majority of his Leafs time in #55 once he stuck with the team. He’s now the GM and head coach of the Leafs ECHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears.
TJ Brennan (2015-16)
Stats: 7GP - 1G - 0A - 1Pt - 6PM
Brennan has been bouncing around the minors since turning pro, a classic ‘AAAA’ player. An AHL superstar, but can’t crack an NHL line up. He played three seasons in the Leafs organization and is now with the Flyers affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Jerry D'Amigo (2013-14)
Stats: 22GP - 1G - 2A - 3Pts - 0PM
D’Amigo was a sixth round pick who was left college after one year to turn pro with the Marlies. Four years later and just a quarter of an NHL season with the Leafs, he would be traded to the Blue Jackets for Matt Frattin. He’s currently in the Finnish league playing with KalPa.
Martin Gerber (2009)
Stats: 12GP - 6W - .905sv% - 3.23GAA - 0SO
Gerber was claimed off waivers from the Senators near the end of the 08-09 season, when both Curtis Joseph and Vesa Toskala were injured for some reason. Look, winning is nice, but the Leafs were out of the playoffs and they should have just tanked hard with Justin Pogge in net. Those 12 points Gerber got the Leafs bumped them out of 3rd last in the Tavares draft. The last place Islanders won anyway, but the Avlanche took Matt Duchene third overall that year, the Coyotes took Oliver Ekman-Larsson. I love Kadri, but at the time had no idea who he was. Why not just tank to get the pick, you suck Burke.
Todd Gill (1984-85)
Stats: 10GP - 1G - 0A - 1Pt - 13PM
Gill made his Leafs debut in #29 for a ten game stint before returning to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL in the 84-85 season. He wore #23 for the next 11 seasons with the Leafs. He would be traded in the 95-96 off-season to San Jose, part of owner Steve “Who needs Wayne Gretzky” Stavro’s cost cutting. He’d join the San Jose Sharks, captaining them for two seasons before being traded to the St. Louis Blues. He’d play for the Blues, Red Wings, Coyotes, Avalanche, Blackhawks, and one season in Germany before retiring in 2004. After retirement he would turn to coaching the junior leagues and is currently the head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack.
Ken Hammond (1988-89)
Stats: 14GP - 0G - 2A - 2Pts - 12PM
Traded from the New York Rangers for a loan of Chris McRae, Hammond played out the 88-89 season with the Leafs and spent the next season in the minors. Over the summer the Leafs would sell his contract to the Bruins, and that’s the end of his story that matters.
Paul Higgins (1981-82)
Stats: 3GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM
Higgins made his brief NHL debut in the 81-82 season, and he would join the Leafs the next year wearing #17. He totaled just 29 professional games before retiring.
Matt Lashoff (2011)
Stats: 11GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 6PM
A Bruins first round pick, Lashoff played two seasons in Toronto, mostly for the Marlies. The year he played for the Leafs he also released a pop-blues album titled ‘Living on Heart’. After his final year in Toronto he would leave to play in Europe.
Joey MacDonald (2010)
Stats: 6GP - 1W - .892sv% - 3.20GAA - 0SO
MacDonald played one season with the Marlies/Leafs before continuing to journeyman his way around the NHL/AHL.
Chris McRae (1989)
Stats: 3GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 12PM
He started as a free agent pick up by the Leafs AHL affiliate the St. Catharines Saints, but worked his way into the Leafs for two separate stints, but was mostly a minor leaguer. His brother Basil played with him on the Saints before going on to an NHL career.
Gord McRae (1972-73)
Stats: 11GP - 7W - 3.77GAA - 0SO
No relation to Chris, Gord McRae joined the Leafs system after an NCAA career, but never got a starting job. After seven seasons of bouncing around the Leafs and affiliates he retired.
William Nylander (2016-Present)
Stats: 101GP - 26G - 49A - 75Pts - 36PM
Nylander made his Leafs debut wearing #37, but when he was on the roster full time out of camp he switched to #29, flipping around his dads #92. Scoring 61 points in his first full NHL season of 2016-17, he was 6th place in Calder voting. He’s only a few games away from nabbing his 100th NHL point.
Mike Palmateer (1977-1984)
Stats: 296GP - 129W - 3.43GAA - 15SO
Palmateer was a fifth round pick for the Leafs in 1974, and he made the Leafs as a full time starter in 76-77 after only one full season in the minors. He would be a solid starter for the Leafs for four season before being traded to the Washington Capitals. He would return after two seasons in Washington when the Leafs bought back his rights, and played two more seasons before retiring. He was a scout with the Leafs from 2002-2015, until the great Shanahan purge.
Karel Pilar (2001-2004)
Stats: 90GP - 6G - 24A - 30Pts - 42PM
A second round pick in 2001, Pilar would play his only Toronto years from 2001-2004, in all three seasons he spent some time with the St. John’s Maple Leafs, but worked his way up to 50 games in 03-04. When the 04-05 season was canceled by the owners, he returned to Europe, only playing 10 more games with the Marlies before staying home for good. He is currently playing with HC Litvinov in the Czech league.
Justin Pogge (2009)
Stats: 7GP - 1W - .844sv% - 4.35GAA - 0SO
Pogge played so well in the 2006 World Juniors that the Leafs were convinced he was their goalie of the future. If by future they meant three seasons for the Marlies and only called up because of injuries. He would be traded to the Ducks in 2009 for a 6th round pick. He’s currently playing with Rögle BK of the SHL.
Darryl Shannon (1991)
Stats: 10GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 0PM
A long time AHLer for the Leafs, he would make appearances in the big league every season, wearing four different numbers. After five seasons with the Leafs he’s leave and joined the Winnipeg Jets.
Brad Smith (1986-1987)
Stats: 89GP - 10G - 24A - 34Pts - 256PM
Smith joined the Leafs for the final two seasons of his career, before retiring and spending the past 22 years as a scout with the Colorado Avalanche, where he’s currently the director of scouting.
Rinat Valiev (2015-16)
Stats: 10GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM
Valiev turned pro in the 15-16 season, and made it into 10 Leafs games. Since then he’s been with the Marlies, playing low on the depth chart. His ELC expires this summer and his future is unknown right now.
Who was the best #29 for the Maple Leafs?
This poll is closed