This time, it’s the name on the back of the jersey that counts. Jaden Schwartz, left wing for the St. Louis Blues, has changed his number from nine to 17 to honor his late sister, Mandi Schwartz ’11.
Mandi Schwartz skated for the Bulldogs for three seasons before being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia Dec. 8, 2008. She courageously battled the disease for almost three years before passing away in Canada in April 2011.
Number 17 had previously been worn on the Blues by forward Vladimir Sobotka, but he vacated the number when he signed with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
“Sorry to the fans with #9 apparel but when I’m back in uniform I’ll be looking a little different this year,” Jaden Schwartz tweeted on Friday night along with a picture of himself and his parents in front of Mandi’s locker at Yale, where her number 17 jersey still hangs.
Jaden Schwartz netted 25 goals and added 31 assists for the Blues last season. He and his Blues teammates traveled to New Haven, Conn. in January to attend this year’s “White Out for Mandi” game. That game set a record for most fans at a Yale women’s ice hockey game with 1,125 in attendance and raised an estimated $30,000 for charity.