Best ODR Jerseys
#ODRSZN is in full swing, so we decided to create a comprehensive list of the best jerseys to rock when you’re out skating on your local lake. These are the jerseys that will ensure you’re looking so good that no one will even notice how bad your hands are. These are the jerseys that will turn all the heads, start all the conversations, and cement your position as the king of the ODR. Don’t get caught wearing a single-color practice jersey when you’re out for a rip with the gang — that’s embarrassing. Get yourself one of these jerseys to ensure you don’t get chirped. Here’s our Top 10:
Mighty Ducks Jersey
This is an all-time jersey. Sure, you might see a rogue Wild jersey floating around Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota or an Elias Pettersson sweater fresh from the Rogers Arena gift shop out on Lake Windermere, British Columbia, but this Mighty Ducks jersey is timeless. Everyone grew up watching the Mighty Ducks. It’s like a rite of passage. Some of of the older guys remember Rob Lowe from Youngblood and the new generation watch Pavel Barber highlight videos on repeat, but every hockey player has watched the Mighty Ducks series. Besides, Anaheim can’t claim this jersey as their own because they never get the sub-zero temperatures to fully embrace the wintry bliss that is ODR season. It’s no longer their home jersey — it’s everyone’s home jersey. This is a staple for any jersey hoarder, for any pond hockey sesh, or any jersey party. With one of the all-time logos of the 1990s and a color way that you can spot from a mile away, it’s a pond hockey aesthetic that is unmatched.
Best Players to Have: Charlie Conway, Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Kenny Wu
Team USA or Team Canada Jersey
This one pays homage to both the United States and Canada. Here at Howies, we don’t have an allegiance to either, so we decided that any Team USA or Team Canada sweater is appropriately ranked second for a little stick and puck outdoors. When a lake or a pond is completely frozen over, the best feeling is lacing up the skates and gliding on what feels like glass. It’s a serene feeling — as if a Zamboni from 2090 time-travelled “Back to the Future” style to 2020 to create the perfect sheet of ice. Take that feeling and pair it with the feeling of representing your country? It’s incredible. The bald eagle call could not pierce the sky louder. The maple leaf could not produce a more sweeter sap.
These sweaters bring everyone together. They’re the ultimate peacemakers. It makes it okay to wear a Connor McDavid Team Canada jersey even though you’re a diehard Leafs fan because you’re now a fan of Canada as a whole. It’s like having a permanent alternate jersey. Take rooting for your home team and amplify it by rooting for your home country. It’s patriotism at every glide. Every glide across the ice becomes a glorious act of patriotism.
Best Players to Have for Team USA: TJ Oshie, Zach Parise, Mike Eruzione, Trevor Zegras
Best Players to Have for Team Canada: Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid
Winter Classic Jersey
We couldn’t decide on just one of them, so we’ll do a mini ranking of Winter Classic jerseys below. The reason these crack the top-three of all-time ODR jerseys is because they’re literally designed to be worn outdoors. The pros wear them for the annual NHL Winter Classic game. It’s quite the sight to see. Whether you’re one of the 100,000 strong freezing your toes off at the Big House watching the Red Wings play or using your binoculars in the bleacher seats of Wrigley Field to catch a glimpse of Patrick Kane, the Winter Classic truly lives up to its name. Old-school logos, alternate colorways, and jerseys that leave a legacy (we’re looking at you, light blue Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys) — Winter Classic jerseys are our pick to round out the top-three.
As promised, here are our top five picks for the best Winter Classic jerseys:
- 2014 Detroit Red Wings (all ready with the cream-colored accents)
- Best Players to Have: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist
- 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins (light blue)
- Best Players to Have: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Whitney
- 2016 Boston Bruins (black with “Boston Bruins” spelled out)
- Best Players to Have: Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug
- 2012 New York Rangers (70’s logo with eggshell white color scheme)
- Best Players to Have: Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh
- 2015 Washington Capitals (“W” crest with Washington Monument in the “W”)
- Best Players to Have: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson
Retro St. Louis Blues Jersey
If we’re talking retro jerseys, this one might take the cake. From 1995 through 1998, legends like Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky rocked this incredible jersey--and now it’s a pond hockey staple. Just like the old school Mighty Ducks sweaters, you don’t need to be from St. Louis to rock this beauty. Combine this hoodie with a pair of one of our joggers and you’ll be plenty warm and plenty fashionable for a little rip out on the ODR. This one is a must-have for anyone that’s serious about wearing some heat out on the roof-less ice.
Best Player to Have: Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull
Retro Arizona Coyotes Kachina Jersey
The Arizona Coyotes “Kachina” jersey is hall of fame. It truly is. It might not be the best pond hockey jersey out there, but it certainly is one of the top jerseys in the NHL right now. It’s insanely popular, Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is on record for wanting it to be its permanent home jersey, and the logo was voted in a local newspaper as the greatest logo in Arizona sports history. So respectfully, it comes in at #5 in our pond hockey ranking.
Imagine showing up to an outdoor rink in the dead of winter. Ice is pristine. Everyone is peppering the one goalie that agreed to show up in full gear and take 150 shots on net. Some of your friends are still lacing up the skates, everyone is donning some sort of toque, and you’re coming into view — skates, stick, and mitts in hand. Everyone sees your Paul Bissonette Yotes sweater that you copped for $22 off DHGate. They love it. Daps, hugs, and goals are had. Best replica-that-you-waited-8-
Best Players to Have: Paul Bissonette, Shane Doan, Phil Kessel, Clayton Keller
Minnesota North Stars Jersey
One of the more classic, retro jerseys to ever grace NHL ice: the Minnesota North Stars jerseys. For you youngsters out there, this was a team that saw a plethora of success from the 60’s to the 90s before they became the Dallas Stars? Playing out of the Met Center in Bloomington, this team saw the playoffs 17 times and had two Stanley Cup Finals appearances. With the can’t-miss green and gold color scheme worn by legendary Hall-of-Famer, Mike Modano, these jerseys went down in history. These sweaters are historic and stands the test of time whenever anyone dons it on the ice.
Best Players to Have: Mike Modano, Dino Ciccarelli
Hartford Whalers Jersey
I’ll never forget it. Gordie Howe. The legend. Skating around for warmups for the Hartford Whalers. What an incredible moment. He will be remembered in Connecticut for the years to come.
Ok — that was a bit of a stretch and blasphemous to Mr. Hockey’s legacy with the Red Wings.
Back on topic — the Whalers jersey is probably one of the few jerseys that didn’t get criticized by the public when brought back in the modern era. The Carolina Hurricanes wore them as a tribute to the old-WHA/NHL team from a few decades ago and boy, did they look Fresh with a capital ‘F.’ With a simple green, blue, and white color way, this jersey certainly deserves a spot in our top ten for top outdoor hockey jerseys to wear this winter season. Trust us, you’ll turn all the heads when you rock the ‘W’ out on the ice — and the ‘W’ stands for “win” or “whale tail” — whatever you want it to be.
Best Players to Have: Ron Francis, Gordie Howe, Chris Pronger, Bobby Hull
Hanson Brother Jersey
You can’t hit the ice with your friends without one of them wearing a novelty jersey. And no, a Fulton Reed Mighty Ducks jersey doesn’t really count because the Mighty Ducks were technically a real team. The only true novelty team to make it on the list is the Charlestown Chiefs. This jersey is a conversation starter. Every old-school dad, uncle, and rink manager (who reads the paper for last game’s stats and yells at the TV when the game is on) will come up to you and ask “where did you get that jersey?” or “you got some foil on those knuckles bud?”
However, despite the Chiefs sweater being an all-time novelty jersey, whoever wears this jersey out on the ODR is deemed a wild card. They’re looking to tussle. You accidentally shoot the puck into a snow bank and ask the guys in the Chiefs jersey to go get it because he’s closest? He’s dropping the gloves. You ask him to help shovel some snow off the ice? He’s dropping the gloves. Going snowboarding and not even playing any hockey? He’s still dropping his winter gloves for a little tussle out on the bunny slopes. This guy will locker box, wrestle, and instigate at any given time. All because he thought it would be cool to have a #17 Charlestown Chiefs jersey for the outdoor rink. And that’s his personality trait. Sorry — we don’t make the rules.
Best Players to Have: Jack Hanson, Steve Hanson, Jeff Hanson
Your Old AAA Jersey
Ok, we get it. You played AAA. Everyone else was playing house league and you were tearing it up with the North Bay Trappers. Doesn’t mean that you need to break out “this ‘ol thing” every Christmas when the band gets back together for a little winter break skate on the lake. Besides, we’re your friends. We’re just out there to have a good time, put a good group pic up on the Gram, and make a couple of funny Tik Toks. You don’t need to show off your “dirty dangles” or your “Michigan move” behind the net in your AAA jersey. The glory days are over, pal.
All that to say… wearing an old jersey that shows your talent back in the day? Kind of a flex. It says “I’m nasty” without having to say it. It’s pretentious and egotistical, but earned. But from someone who never played AAA hockey, it leaves a salty taste in my mouth. That’s why I put it at #9.
Best Player to Have: Yourself
Howies Pro Stock Sweater
The granddaddy of them all. The Howies Pro Stock Sweater. I mean, this thing is NHL quality. The logo is embroidered and stitched on to the front crest and it’s made from quality, breathable fabric that’ll look incredible as you glide on glass. The ODR jersey-market is saturated with Team USA jerseys everywhere — someone has to stand out with something new and what better way to do that than with the Howies yellow? Someone’s gotta rep the best tape company’s jersey out on the ice. Besides, if you tag us in a photo of you wearing the jersey, you might just get a repost on our Instagram. Do it for the clout. All 280,000 of our followers will love it. Trust us, the Anaheim Ducks social team definitely isn’t doing that.
Best Player to have: Howie
All in all, lakes and ponds freezing over across North America is the real win here. Everyone in the Midwest and Northeast can come together in whatever we’re wearing to enjoy a little outdoor hockey. Whether you’re going for a glide on a frozen slab of ice in your local neighborhood or your best friend’s backyard rink on cold Friday night, we can all agree on one thing: ODR SZN rocks. It’s the best. Skating until your cheeks are red and until your nose is numb. Best feeling in the world. No matter what jersey you’re wearing.