Nikita Zadorov got his hands on his Boston Bruins jersey for the first time Monday morning.

The imposing 6-foot-6, 248-pound defenseman, who met with the media at Warrior Ice Arena after signing a reported six-year, $30 million contract last week, sported a gold No. 91 on the back of his Bruins sweater, which isn’t a number Zadorov has been most associated with throughout his 11-year NHL career.

Zadorov wore No. 16 for seven-plus seasons during his time with the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames. But that wasn’t an option for Zadorov with the the Bruins since the digits are retired for Rick Middleton.

So Zadorov ended up sticking with No. 91, which he wore during his stint with the Vancouver Canucks last season.

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“Upside down 16,” Zadorov told reporters for the reason for the number, per MassLive’s Matt Vautour. “I wore 16 my whole life pretty much on the teams I can. That’s the worst part of playing on an Original 6 team. Lots of numbers are retired. Lots of history obviously. When I got traded to Vancouver, we were thinking about it because it was retired over there as well. So 91 was good and it was a good year (in Vancouver) for us. So we decided to wear it here as well.”

The last time a member of the Bruins wore No. 91 was over a decade ago when Marc Savard donned it. Zadorov knows that history as it just so happens he has a relationship with Savard, who was an assistant coach with the Flames last season.

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“I know Marc Savard wore it. He was my coach last year,” Zadorov said. “I have to text Savvy. I stole his number.”

The Bruins will hope the number will bring the same large-sized production out of Zadorov. The 29-year-old compiled six goals and 14 assists for 20 points during the 2023-24 campaign.

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Featured image via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images