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Your Favorite Number 23

For this edition of the Your Favorite Number series, presented by Jewel-Osco, we unveil a great mix of players who wore No. 23. Two were born in the Chicago area, two won league championships, two were undrafted free agents, one was a first-round draft pick…and all four earned their way to the NHL.

Over the course of the organization’s first 26 years, most Wolves jersey numbers have been shared by several great players. To celebrate their brilliance, we are creating highlight reels of Wolves who wore the same jersey number and asking you to vote for your favorite.

This week’s clips feature four Wolves who made a difference while wearing No. 23: Mike Weaver, Colin Stuart, Tim Stapleton and Stefan Matteau.

During Weaver’s rookie year, he helped the Orlando Solar Bears defeat the Wolves in the 2001 Turner Cup Finals. The next year, the undersized but tough defenseman joined the Wolves and promptly won another title. He contributed two goals and eight assists during the regular season, then played in all 25 postseason games and posted one goal and three assists as the Wolves hoisted the 2002 Calder Cup. The Bramalea, Ontario, native spent two more seasons in Chicago and finished with seven goals and 24 assists in 169 games. He went on to spent more than 10 years in the NHL — delivering eight goals and 89 assists in 633 regular-season games. In his next-to-last season, Weaver helped the 2013-14 Montreal Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference Final.

Stuart, who was born in Oak Park, spent most of five years with Wolves and stacked up 51 goals, 41 assists and a +19 plus/minus rating for his 284 regular-season games. He enjoyed his best goal-scoring season when he recorded 18 goals for the 2006-07 Wolves, but his most rewarding professional season came the following year. Not only did he make his NHL debut with the Atlanta Thrashers, he helped the Wolves capture the 2008 Calder Cup. Stuart produced eight goals and eight assists in the regular season, then played in all 24 postseason games on the way to the franchise’s fourth league championship.

Stapleton, a Forest Park native, was a big-time goal-scorer wherever he went — but enjoyed his biggest goal-scoring spree during his first year with the Wolves. Stapleton joined the organization in 2009-10 at the age of 27 and promptly piled up 30 goals and 29 assists in 73 games while helping the Wolves to the division title. He then spent most of the next two seasons in the NHL — one with the Atlanta Thrashers and one with the Winnipeg Jets — so he only played four more games for the Wolves. He posted one goal and three assists in those four games during 2010-11.

Matteau, who was born in Chicago while his father, Stephane, played for the Blackhawks, enjoyed two excellent seasons in a Wolves uniform. The 2012 NHL first-round pick produced 15 goals and 12 assists to help the Wolves capture the 2018 Central Division crown, then became a postseason force in 2018-19 while aiding the Wolves’ march to the Calder Cup Finals. The powerful forward’s biggest moment with the Wolves came in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals at Charlotte when he scored two goals — including the game-winner 5:30 into overtime.

To vote for your favorite Wolves player who wore No. 23, visit one or more of the team’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and make your opinion known!

If you missed any of the previous episodes, here they are:

Your Favorite Number 2
Your Favorite Number 3
Your Favorite Number 4
Your Favorite Number 5
Your Favorite Number 6
Your Favorite Number 7
Your Favorite Number 8
Your Favorite Number 9
Your Favorite Number 10
Your Favorite Number 12
Your Favorite Number 13
Your Favorite Number 14
Your Favorite Number 15
Your Favorite Number 16
Your Favorite Number 17
Your Favorite Number 18
Your Favorite Number 19
Your Favorite Number 20
Your Favorite Number 21
Your Favorite Number 22