The jersey numbers for the World Cup of Hockey rosters have started coming out with three Lightning players’ numbers being among the group as Team Canada, USA, and North America have been released.
[UPDATE] It has since been clarified that Carey Price will wear #31, not #1.
Goalie Ben Bishop will be wearing his familiar #30 for Team USA while center Steven Stamkos will retain his #91. Jonathan Drouin however has been bumped from his normal #27 and will instead wear #72 for Team North America. Drouin had previously worn #29 with Team Canada’s WJC U20 team during the 2012-13 tournament with Dougie Hamilton wearing his #29. He had also worn #17 for Team Quebec U17 tournament in 2011-12. Ryan Murray has worn #27 since the 2013-14 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets and perhaps that extra year in the NHL is what gave him seniority and first dibs on the number.
As for the other Lightning players… Victor Hedman should have no problem retaining his #77 as no other players from Team Sweden wear #77 in the NHL. Same goes for Anton Stralman with #6.
Nikita Kucherov may have to change numbers as the older Nikolai Kulemin has worn #86 the past couple years in the NHL with the New York Islanders, but wore #41 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kulemin also wore #41 with Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and in last years World Championships, so Kucherov may be able to stick with #86. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Nesterov and Vladislav Namestnikov appear to be safe with #88, #89 and #90 respectively. The KHL based players on Team Russia currently wear #7, #13, #63, and #87 on their KHL teams.
Milan Michalek on Team Czech Republic currently wears #18 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but previously wore #9 for San Jose and Ottawa. No other member of Team Czech Republic currently wears #9 in the NHL so Palat may be able to keep his #18. Palat also wore #18 in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Andrej Sustr should have no problem keeping his #62 if he so desires. The last time he played internationally for the Czech Republic, he wore #7. He’s also worn #2 with the Syracuse Crunch and #3 with the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Valtteri Filppula should have no problem with his preferred #51 for Team Finland. He has no competition for the number from NHL players and has worn #51 for Team Finland in the past at the 2010 Olympics and 2012 World Championships.