Authentic NHL Jersey Comparison Guide

TL;DR the size typically indicates the length around the chest. Therefore a size 46 will typically be 23" pit to pit, a size 50 will be 25" pit to pit, and so on. See the tables below that assign a lettered size to each numbered size, and note that hockey jerseys fit loose, so most people go down one size. For example, I wear a size large t-shirt, but prefer a size medium hockey jersey. Sizes that end in "G" (e.g. "58-G") are goalie cut, and will have much wider sleeves and torso.

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Reebok Edge 1.0, 2.0, Indo-Edge, and Retail Authentic Adidas Adizero (aka Indo-Adidas) (2007-Present):

Corresponding Lettered Size Numbered Size
XXS 42
XS 44
S 46
M 50
L 52
XL 54
XXL 56
3XL 60

 

Team Issued Reebok Edge and MiC Adidas Adizero (2007-Present)

Corresponding Lettered Size

Numbered Size

S-M 46
M-L

50

L-XL 52
XL 54
XXL 56
XXL-3XL 58
3XL (Tall) 58+
3XL-4XL 60

 

CCM, Koho, and Reebok 6100 (2000-2007)

Corresponding Lettered Size Numbered Size
S-M 46
M-L 48
L-XL 52
XL 54
XXL 56
3XL (Team Issued Only) 58
3XL (Team Issued Only, Typically Goalie Cut) 60

 

CCM Center Ice "Big Block" (1990-2000)

Corresponding Lettered Size Numbered Size
XS 36
S 42
M 44
M-L 46
L 48
L-XL 50
XL 52
XXL 54
XXL-3XL 56
3XL 58

Starter and Pro Player (1995-2000)

Corresponding Lettered Size Numbered Size
S-M 46
M-L 48
L-XL 52
XL 54
XXL 56
3XL 58
3XL-4XL 60

 

Nike and Bauer (1996-1999)

Nike's corresponding letter sizes can vary from model to model. For example, NHL size 48 jerseys are labeled "medium", but Olympic 48s can be labeled "large". That said, Nike made some of the looser fitting jerseys compared to other manufacturers, so keep that in mind in choose which size is right for you.

Corresponding Lettered Size Numbered Size
S-M 44
M-L 48
L-XL 52
XL 54
XXL 56
3XL 58
3XL-4XL 60

 

 

 

Brand/model specific traits and observations:

MiC Adidas Adizero (2017-Present)

Adidas first released their Adizero jerseys for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, with the NHL completely converting to the Adidas Adizero jerseys for the 2017-18 season. MiC (Made in Canada) Adidas Adizero jerseys are identical to what the players wear on the ice. Adidas really did a great job with the quality, but unfortunately, Adidas MiC jerseys are all team issued, and are very rarely available for retail purchase. The jersey material is much more sturdy than a retail authentic (aka Indo-authentic) Adidas jersey. One of the main distinguishing features of the Adidas MiC jerseys is the shoulder dimples. Below you can see the MiC dimples on the left vs. the retail authentic "dimples" on the right. As you can see, the MiC dimples are deeper, whereas the retail authentic "dimples" are relatively flat, but have a different, shiny material that create a dimple illusion. You can also see, that the retail authentic dimples don't extend down as far as they do on the MiC jerseys.

Among several other minor quality differences, there is also a difference between the MiC and retail authentic fight straps. Below you can see the MiC fight strap on the left vs. the retail authentic fight strap on the right. The MiC fight strap is a double layered reinforced base, whereas the retail authentic is just a single stitched layer.

For the 2021-22 season, all NHL teams began wearing "Primegreen" jerseys instead of Adizero. Primegreen jerseys are made with a minimum of 50% recycled content and supposedly have more detailed embroidery on the crests and shoulder patches. Additional observations and comparisons coming soon.

Retail Authentic Adidas (2017-Present)

Retail authentic Adidas jerseys (also known as "Indo-Adidas" jerseys) are made in Indonesia, and are a lower quality than the Made in Canada (MiC) Adidas jerseys. The retail authentic Adidas jerseys have a fight strap, as well as stitched crests, shoulder patches, and customization. However, factory customization is often stitched single layered vinyl, instead of the typical stacked or kiss cut twill that is on the on-ice versions. Be sure to check each jersey's description and photos to know what kind of customization it has. The jersey material itself is more stretchy than an MiC Authentic jersey. See the photos above in the "Authentic Adidas MiC" section to compare the Retail Authentic fight straps and shoulder dimples to their MiC counterparts. Retail authentic jerseys are called either "Climalite" or "Aeroready", which is labeled on the inside collar below the size tag as shown in the photos below. There are no differences between Climalie and Aeroready, other than Climalite being made from 2017-2019, and Aeroready being made from 2019-Present.

For the 2017-18 season (the first season that Adidas took over NHL jersey manufacturing), the retail authentic Adidas jerseys had a black "button" above the front left hem of the jersey, as shown below. This was not on any Adidas jersey after the 2017-18 season.

Another quirk related to the 2017-18 retail authentic Adidas jerseys was that the crests and shoulder patches were smaller on any jerseys smaller than a size 50. Below you can see this difference between a size 46 (left) and a size 50 (right). Crests and shoulder patches are normal sized for all jerseys made after the 2017-2018 season (jerseys without the Adidas button).

For the 2021-22 season, all NHL teams began wearing "Primegreen" jerseys instead of Adizero. Primegreen jerseys are made with a minimum of 50% recycled content and supposedly have more detailed embroidery on the crests and shoulder patches. In addition to the on-ice MiC jerseys now being Primegreen, Adidas also released Primegreen versions of their retail authentic jerseys. Additional observations and comparisons coming soon.

Reebok Edge 1.0 and 2.0 (2007-2017)

Reebok Edge 1.0 jerseys were first used in the 2007 NHL All star game, with the league completely converting to Reebok Edge 1.0 jerseys the following season. However, NHL Players wore Edge 1.0s for only about the first half of the 2007-08 season, with only a select few players continuing to wear Reebok Edge 1.0 jerseys thereafter. Many players disliked the heavier ultrafil jersey material on the Edge 1.0s because it trapped heat more easily. Reebok Edge 2.0 jerseys are made of mostly an air-knit material, with ultrafil on only a few select parts of the jersey. Other differences included reinforced elbows on the 2.0s, but not on the 1.0s as well as a slight widening of the sleeve and chest areas on the 2.0s. Despite 1.0s only being used in game for about half a season, Reebok continued to sell retail Reebok Edge 1.0 jerseys until about 2012, and for most of that time, Reebok Edge 2.0 jerseys were only available as game worn or team issued jerseys, making some Reebok Edge 2.0 jersey styles incredibly rare.

Several other changes came during the Reebok Edge era including a switch from the Reebok "Vector" logo (left) to the Reebok wordmark logo (right) as shown below.

Additionally, the NHL shield on the collar insert changed slightly due to some players complaining the points on the top of the shield was digging into their necks. Below you see the hard NHL shield (left) vs. a softer, thinner shield (right) that came as a response to player complaints. Additionally, the team issued Reebok Edge jerseys had only a size tag inside the neck, whereas the retail Reebok Edge jerseys had a retail neck tag (the black and gray Reebok tag shown below) in addition to the size tag.

Reebok Edge retail authentic and team issued jersey have a few slight differences as well including a double layered reinforced fight strap base on the team issued jerseys vs. a single layered fight strap base on the retail authentic jerseys as shown below.

 

 

Reebok Indo-Edge (2011-2017)

Reebok Indo-Edge jerseys were similar to Reebok Edge 2.0 jerseys, but were made in Indonesia, and were slightly worse quality (although arguably still better than Edge 1.0s). The jersey is made of an air-knit fabric that is slightly thinner than Reebok 2.0s, and the twill of the fight strap was white, as opposed to color-matched on Edge 2.0s (see photos above).

 

CCM, Koho, and Reebok 6100 (2000-2007)

Starting in the 2000-01 season, CCM and Koho took over jersey manufacturing for all NHL teams, with CCM manufacturing the white jerseys, and Koho manufacturing the dark and alternate jerseys. The only white jersey manufactured by Koho was the Toronto Maple Leafs third jersey, and the only dark jerseys manufactured by CCM were the All-Star Game jerseys, as well as the New York Rangers' 9/11 memorial jersey. These jerseys were relatively boxy, with wide sleeve and chest areas. The jersey material was a heavy, yet breathable air-knit material. Starting in the 2003-04 season, team's wore their dark jerseys at home, whereas teams would always wear white at home prior to the switch. Then in 2005, Reebok took over jersey manufacturing from CCM and Koho, using the exact same jersey model (6100), but just switching out the branding for Reebok.

 

CCM "Big Block" (1990-2000)

CCM began manufacturing NHL jerseys in 1983. They underwent many changes and tweaks along the way, and many of which vary from team to team, so it's difficult to make hard and fast proclamations about them. Make sure to examine photos and read each jersey's description to get a better idea of the jersey material and quality.

 

Starter and Pro Player (1995-2000)

Starter first started manufacturing NHL jerseys in 1995 for the newly relocated Colorado Avalanche. They would begin making jerseys the following year for several other teams including the Blues, Penguins, Coyotes, Bruins, and Rangers. Some teams jerseys were made of a thin silky mesh material including the Rangers, Avalanche, Blues (1997-99) and possibly more, but most Starter jerseys were a heavy ultrafil material.

Similar to Adidas jerseys, you can divide Starter jerseys into retail authentics and on-ice authentics. Most retail authentic Starter jerseys were made in El Salvador, with a few being made in Haiti. The made in Haiti authentics didn't come with fight straps and often had more sloppy stitching. Made in El Salvador authentics are extremely close to the real deal, occasionally with very minor quality differences compared to on-ice authentics. All on-ice authentic Starter jerseys were made in Berlin, Wisconsin, except for a handful of Montreal Canadiens jerseys which were made in Canada.

After Starter lost their license to produce NHL hockey jerseys in 1999, Pro Player (which was a subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom) stepped in to manufacture jerseys for teams including the Bruins, Coyotes, Mighty Ducks, Blackhawks, and Oilers. The Pro player jerseys I have seen have all been air-knit, and are very high quality jerseys. Since Pro Player jerseys lasted for just one season, they are often more difficult to find. Most if not all Pro Player jerseys were made in Canada.

 

Nike and Bauer (1996-1999)

Nike manufactured jerseys for select NHL teams beginning in 1996 including the Blackhawks, Flyers, Maple Leafs, and Mighty Ducks. Bauer (who is a subsidiary of Nike) manufactured the Nashville Predators jerseys in their inaugural season of 1998-99. They are the only NHL team to wear Bauer jerseys, and they would switch to CCM in their second season. Rumor has it that Nike didn't want their logo on an expansion team's jersey, so given they they already manufactured minor league hockey jerseys, they took the tagging from those, and slapped it on the Preds' jerseys.