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Top 40 Goal-Scorers: No. 23

The player who ranks No. 23 on the Chicago Wolves Top 40 Countdown, presented by Jewel-Osco, spent just two years with the team — but capped his career with one championship and another Finals appearance.

During the Wolves’ International Hockey League era, the organization had a terrific knack for finding veteran NHL players who still had the desire to excel and to put the puck into the net. That’s why Brian Noonan, at the age of 34, joined the organization in 1999 after spending most of the previous 12 seasons in the NHL.

Noonan stacked up 116 goals and 159 assists in 629 regular-season games with the Blackhawks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes — and he played a key role in the Rangers’ historic 1994 Stanley Cup triumph. Among other things, Noonan earned an assist on Hall of Famer Mark Messier’s game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Final.

Noonan’s arrival gave the Wolves even more frontline firepower as the team set a franchise record with 114 regular-season points to finish first in the IHL. Four players scored at least 30 goals: Steve Maltais (41), Steve Larouche (31), Chris Marinucci (31) and Noonan (30). During the playoffs, Noonan posted four goals and seven assists in 16 games as the Wolves raced to the 2000 Turner Cup title.

The following year, Noonan was the only Wolves player to appear in all 82 games as John Anderson’s squad posted the best record in the IHL’s Western Conference. Noonan was one of six players to produce at least 20 goals during the regular season. He added one goal and six assists while playing in every postseason game on the way to a 2001 Turner Cup Finals runnerup finish to Orlando.

Noonan retired after the 2000-01 season with 51 goals and 64 assists during his 162 regular-season games for the Wolves. He spent several years serving as Naperville North High School’s head coach.

Want to enjoy more of the countdown?

No. 40: Gage Quinney
No. 39: Tim Breslin
No. 38: Nathan Oystrick
No. 37: Ben Simon
No. 36: Curtis McKenzie
No. 35: Kamil Piros
No. 34: Mark Mancari
No. 33: Simon Gamache
No. 32: Guy Larose
No. 31: Wade Megan
No. 30: Shane Harper
No. 29: Michael Davies
No. 28: Karl Stewart
No. 27: Cory Larose
No. 26: Pat Cannone
No. 25: Brian Wiseman
No. 24: Colin Stuart