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.