July 15, 2014 11:09 am

St. Louis Blues’ Jaden Schwartz switches number to honour late sister

Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues looks on during NHL action against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on December 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

TORONTO – Canadian NHLer Jaden Schwartz will start the 2014-15 hockey donning a new jersey number in tribute to his late sister.

The Saskatchewan native took to Twitter on Friday to announce he will be switching from No. 9 to 17, the same number Mandi Schwartz wore while playing for the Yale Bulldogs.

“Mandi never gave up,” Schwartz said in a January interview with NHL.com. “She inspired me a lot and I learned a lot from her. Before she got sick, I wasn’t really aware of cancer or knew a lot about it, but when something like that happens you learn a lot and want to do things to help whenever you can.”

According to the hockey website, his new number became available after fellow teammate Vladimir Sobotka signed a three-year deal with the Kontinental Hockey League.

Mandi lost her battle with leukemia in 2011. She was 23.

Her No. 17 jersey still hangs in the women’s locker room at Yale, and the university plays an annual “White Out for Mandi” hockey game to raise funds and awareness for need of bone marrow donors.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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