Xhekaj, Arber *
Red Set 1 - NHL Debut, 1st NHL Goal & 1st NHL Fight - Photo-Matched
Montreal Canadiens 2022-23
#72 Size: 58

Note: This item is listed with an asterisk, * , which means it is owned by a private collector, and is available on consignment.

Arber Xhekaj was wearing this red jersey on October 12, 2022 when he made his National Hockey League debut during the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC. He recorded four hits, one block, and two shots on goal in the victory.

Xhekaj was also wearing this jersey when he scored the first goal of his NHL career and recorded his first multi-point game. Facing off with the Dallas Stars at the Bell Centre on October 22, 2022, he notched an assist on Mike Hoffman's goal at 15:35 of the first period. Xhekaj scored his first professional goal at 15:58 of the second period, assisted by Sean Monahan and Nick Suzuki. He also made seven hits and one block in the game. Montreal fell to Dallas 5-2, with Xhekaj contributing to both of the Canadiens' goals.

In only his fifth NHL game, Xhekaj caught the attention of the league when he was involved in the first fight of his NHL career on October 20, 2022 against the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre in Montreal, again wearing this jersey. With the Canadiens up 3-0 only 12 minutes into the game, Xhekaj accepted an offer from veteran Zach Kassian and the pair dropped the gloves. Kassian went for Xhekaj's helmet first and was able to get it off, but Xhekaj did not appear concerned that his heavy rights were landing on Kassian's helmet. Ducking out of the way of the blows, Kassian gave Xhekaj the opportunity to drag his jersey up over his face and keep him off balance. Kassian tried to correct, but Xhekaj was able to continue hammering down on him and eventually throw him to the ice. Kassian immediately went down the tunnel with an apparent hand injury, but Xhekaj went to his team's penalty box. On the way there, he threw his hands up in the air and shouted encouragement to the home crowd.

During the 2022-23 season, Arber Xhekaj scored five goals and recorded eight assists in 51 games. He was second among Canadians defenders in goals and led Montreal with 101 penalty minutes. His nine fights tied with Michael Pezzetta for team lead; they were the only Habs with more than two fights to their name. When his season ended in mid-February, Xhekaj was leading the Canadiens with 159 hits. Only Pezzetta would surpass that mark by the end of the season.

Price: $6,500.00