Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part IV)

These hockey players represented their Asian Heritage.

Larry Kwong

Kwong, the 1st athlete of Asian heritage to play in an NHL game, battled discrimination and racism as he made a name for himself on the ice. He paved the way for future ice hockey players of Asian descent.

Larry Kwong’s time as a player for the NHL lasted less than 60 seconds but was a crucial moment in hockey history. In 1948, Kwong became the 1st athlete of Asian heritage to skate for the NHL when he played a really short time for the New York Rangers in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Kwong died in 2018 at the age of 94. It was only a couple of days after the 70th anniversary of his one and only NHL game.

Jim Paek

Paek became the NHL’s 1st Korean-born player when he joined the Penguins in the 1990-1991 season. He helped Pittsburgh’s defense during the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup run in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

David Tanabe

David Michael Tanabe is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman. Tanabe was drafted in the 1st round by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. After being made to retire early because of an injury, he went to work for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

Mike Wong

Michael Anthony Wong is a retired ice hockey who played forward in 22 games for the Detroit Red Wings. Additionally, he was a former Minnesota Golden Gloves boxing champion. He went 7th in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft. Wong is of Chinese descent.

Torrie Jung

Torrie Jung is a goaltender for the Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League. He was drafted 183rd by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. However, he didn’t sign with them. Jung decided to just become a free agent.

Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part III)

These Asian hockey players made a name for themselves in the NHL.

Yutaka Fukufuji

Fukufuji is a Japanese ice hockey player in the Asia League Ice Hockey with the Nikko Ice Bucks.  Fukufuji was the 1st Japanese player to be in an NHL game. The 1st Japanese draft pick, Hiroyuki Miura, was picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1992 NHL Draft, however, he never appeared in an NHL game. Fukufuji is the 1st Japanese citizen to be drafted as a goaltender in the NHL and the 2nd Japanese national to be drafted.

Peter Ing

Born in Toronto in 1969, Ing played minor hockey for the Toronto Marlboros and Markham Waxers before being drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the second round of the 1986 OHL Draft. 

Ing spent most of the OHL seasons in Windsor, where he backstopped the Spitfires to the J. Ross Robertson Cup as the OHL champions in the 1987-88 season. Later, he was traded to the London Knights in 1989, before beginning his pro career.

Paul Kariya

Paul Tetsuhiko Kariya is a Canadian former professional ice hockey winger who spent 15 seasons in the NHL. Known as a fast-skating, skilled offensive player, he played in the NHL for Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Mighty Ducks, and St. Louis Blues. After two years with the Penticton Panthers (he was named Canadian Junior A Player of the Year) 

Kariya joined the college ranks with the U Maine Black Bears. When he was a freshman, he got the Hobey Baker Award while guiding his team to the 1993 NCAA title. Picked 4th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Mighty Ducks, he joined the team in 1994.

Stuart Percy

Stuart Percy is a Canadian ice hockey defenseman who is playing for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in the Ontario Hockey League. He was chosen 25th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.