Skip to main content

Connor Hellebuyck switches to No. 37 with support from Dan Snyder's family

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck will become the first player to wear the number since Dan Snyder’s tragic passing, and will have a patch sewn into his jersey paying tribute to Snyder.

For the first time in 13 years, a player will don the No. 37 for the Winnipeg Jets’ franchise.

The number, formerly worn by Dan Snyder, was taken out of circulation by the team after Snyder’s tragic passing in October 2003. Snyder, 25, was involved in a car accident while a passenger in Dany Heatley’s vehicle. After the accident, Snyder fell into a coma. He died of septic shock six days later. In the years since Snyder’s death, no player has worn No. 37 in either the Thrashers or Jets’ organization. That is until now.

The Winnipeg Jets announced Wednesday that goaltender Connor Hellebuyck will be changing from No. 30 to No. 37 ahead of the new campaign, becoming the third player in the franchise’s history to wear the jersey. The Jets added that Hellebuyck has received the support of the Snyder family in changing to No. 37, which is the number Hellebuyck has worn throughout his career barring his brief time with the Jets.

Hellebuyck is considered by many to be the goaltender of the future for the Jets. This past season, he suited up 26 games with the Jets and posted a 13-11-1 record, 2.34 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Those were the best numbers of any of the three goaltenders to suit up for Winnipeg.

Hellebuyck’s number change won’t come without a tribute to Snyder. Inside of his jersey this season, Hellebuyck will wear a patch that reads ‘DS37’ with the year of Snyder’s birth and death underneath.

The tribute to Snyder will be another way the organization has honored him since his passing. Following his death, the Thrashers wore patches bearing Snyder’s No. 37 for the entire season and established the Dan Snyder Memorial Award. The trophy is awarded each season to the player who “embodies perseverance, dedication and hard work without reward or recognition, so that his team and teammates might succeed.”

The trophy continued to be awarded even after the Thrashers headed north to become the Jets. This past season, Matt Halishcuk earned the honor. Other winners include Chris Thorburn, Bryan Little, Mark Stuart, Colby Armstrong and Slava Kozlov. The first recipient was Garnet Exelby.

In addition, the OHL has established the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy, a humanitarian award for the league. It is given to the player who “has demonstrated outstanding qualities as a positive role model in the community,” and recipients include Nick Paul, Chris Terry and Mike Angelidis.

Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.



NHL Off-Season Outlook: Chicago Blackhawks

If the Blackhawks are going to put up more of a challenge in the Central Division, they're going to need to have a busy summer.


Hockey Things: What Caught Our Eye (July 4 Edition)

3Ice is making headlines, Johnny Gaudreau's dominance as a kid gets brought back up and Ryan McDonagh is now king of the summer press conference. Take a look at three fun moments from the past week.


Three NHL Playoff Contenders With Some Work to do This Summer

Some teams might be one piece away. Others might need a couple. Here's a look at three teams with interesting off-seasons ahead of them.