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Your Favorite Number 26

It’s College Week on this edition of the Your Favorite Number series, presented by Jewel-Osco. All four of these forwards who wore No. 26 for the Wolves didn’t start their professional careers until they spent four years in school.

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. 26: Steve Martins, Andrew Kozek, Nathan Longpre and Bryce Gervais.

Before Martins joined the Wolves, he became known as one of the greatest players in Harvard history. He earned all-America honors in 1993-94 after producing 25 goals and 35 assists in 32 games while leading his team to the Frozen Four. He also was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club’s Hall of Fame in the Class of 2010. The Gatineau, Quebec, native split two seasons between the NHL and AHL before coming to the Wolves for the 1997-98 season. The powerful playmaker racked up 20 goals and 41 assists during the regular season, then added six goals and 14 assists during the postseason as the Wolves earned their first league championship.

Martins returned to the organization twice more — once to help the 2001 Turner Cup playoff push and again from 2006-09 — and he became the only player to help the Wolves win the 1998 Turner Cup and the 2008 Calder Cup. He wound up with 64 goals and 129 assists in 262 regular-season games, which ranks ninth on the Wolves’ all-time points and assists lists.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Baby (pronounced “Bobby”) grew up in Chicago and was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft — months before he matriculated to Cornell University. After piling up 115 points in four years of collegiate hockey — and serving as Cornell’s captain for his final two seasons — Baby joined the Wolves after graduating in 2003. He spent three-plus years in a Wolves uniform and provided 28 goals and 32 assists in 169 games while helping Chicago reach the 2005 Calder Cup Finals.

During Kozek’s four-year run at the University of North Dakota, one of his highlights was tying T.J. Oshie and Ryan Duncan for the team’s goal-scoring lead (with 18) during the 2007-08 season. Kozek joined the Wolves at the tail end of the 2008-09, then spent two full seasons in Chicago. He posted 21 goals and 16 assists in 131 regular-season games. After one more season in the AHL, Kozek set his sights on Europe and has spent most of the last decade playing in Austria. He owns six goals this season for Linz EHC.

After playing for four years at Robert Morris University, Longpre launched a five-year career in the AHL spent primarily with the Wolves. He joined the franchise at the outset of the 2011-12 season and contributed eight goals in 38 games for the Midwest Division champs. The two-way forward from Peterborough, Ontario, spent most of the next three seasons with the Wolves and finished his Chicago tenure with 19 goals and 35 assists in 186 games. He also notched two postseason goals during the Wolves’ run to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Near the end of the 2015-16 season, the Wolves signed Gervais shortly after he completed his career at Minnesota State University. Known as a prolific scorer in college, Gervais proved immediately that his skill translated to the AHL as he delivered four goals in the final 10 games of the season. The North Battleford, Saskatchewan, native spent two more seasons in Chicago and capped his AHL career with 22 goals and 10 assists in 106 games. Gervais has since taken his talents to Germany, where he has racked up 45 goals in 74 games over the last year-and-a-half for the Heilbronn Falcons.

To vote for your favorite Wolves player who wore No. 26, 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
Your Favorite Number 23
Your Favorite Number 24
Your Favorite Number 25