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Thread: Article: the future of Japanese hockey?

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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Japan Article: the future of Japanese hockey?

    http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid...e&service=page

    Gatineau Olympiques defenceman Takuma Kawai may be a Japanese hockey player, but he's sporting a very Canadian gap in his front teeth.

    Kawai moved away from his home and family in Eniwa, Japan, at 15 to pursue his dream of playing hockey in Canada. The 19-year-old is living that dream to the fullest at the Memorial Cup, which is the championship of the 60-team Canadian Hockey League.

    "I always wanted to come to Canada and play. When I was little I watched NHL games on TV," Kawai said prior to Gatineau's game against Belleville on Monday.

    Japanese-Canadians in hockey are common enough. Devin Setoguchi and Kawai's favourite Paul Kariya are just a couple of them.

    But media relations personnel from the CHL were scratching their heads to come up with previous players who were born in Japan and played major junior hockey.

    Suffice to say, Kawai is a rarity.

    "I think I'm the first Japanese player to play major junior," Kawai theorized. "I know there's half-Japanese, half-Canadian players, but I've never heard of a Japanese-born player."

    This might well be a kid who, along with Fukufuji (and even more than Yutaka maybe) could really be a beacon for young Japanese hockey players.
    I'd love to see him crack an NHL, or even an AHL roster, I think it would give Japanese hockey a little more exposure.
    And just think if the Olympiques manage to win the Memorial Cup?!
    Looking forward to seeing Kawai in a Japanese senior team uniform.

  2. #2
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up, wow, a CP article!

    He is a role player though, so I think he'll probably start around ECHL at best...
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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Schubert would be an AHL player if we were forward-only or defense-only.
    That kind of versatility, especially if Kawai is able to continue improving, will make him that much more valuable.

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    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Ah, good point. Sounds like he was pressed into playing defense but hopefully this added versatility is looked upon as a plus by the scouts.

    Even though Gatineau lost game 2, 3-6 to Belleville, Kawai recorded 2 assists and was +2.
    http://www.leaguestat.com/chl/memcup...php?game_id=63
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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks View Post
    Ah, good point. Sounds like he was pressed into playing defense but hopefully this added versatility is looked upon as a plus by the scouts.

    Even though Gatineau lost game 2, 3-6 to Belleville, Kawai recorded 2 assists and was +2.
    http://www.leaguestat.com/chl/memcup...php?game_id=63
    confidence and results under pressure....
    looks good on the kid.
    this is a player i think will at least find himself in an AHL position at some point in the next couple years. Just a hunch.

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    IHF Member leksandstars's Avatar
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    Any Japanese prospects?

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    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Japanese prospect Shuhei Kaji, the Waseda University captain and senior national team member, is participating in the upcoming New York Islanders Prospects Camp, we'll see how he fares.
    http://jhockey.wordpress.com/2009/07...rospects-camp/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks View Post
    Japanese prospect Shuhei Kaji, the Waseda University captain and senior national team member, is participating in the upcoming New York Islanders Prospects Camp, we'll see how he fares.
    http://jhockey.wordpress.com/2009/07...rospects-camp/

    How tall is Kuji?

    The NHL is pretty adamant of players being at least 6 feet unless they are VERY good like Patrick Kane or something.

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    It'll be cool if this crop of players end up playing in NHL teams for long periods of time! We need more Asians there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrconfusion87 View Post
    It'll be cool if this crop of players end up playing in NHL teams for long periods of time! We need more Asians there!
    Yes it would nice to see others than just whites playing in the NHL. There are non-whites but very few and hardly any Orientals.

  11. #11
    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Marginal ECHL player for the past few years, Kazuma Takahashi (he was only a role player in the Asia League as well), is currently training with Amur Khavarovsk's farm team. Not sure how he managed to hook up this arrangement, but you've gotta hand it to the guy who keeps on pushing himself to get better.
    http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=98777
    http://jhockey.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/高橋一馬がハバロフスクに/
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    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, Fukufuji is now in the Dutch league for the upcoming season, he hopes this will open doors to move to higher European leagues, provided that he performs well.
    http://jhockey.wordpress.com/2009/05...ay-in-holland/
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    IHF Member kose's Avatar
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    Couldn't find any appropriate thread for my question. Does anyone know ice rink dimensions among ice hockey clubs in Japan league or those Japanese teams playing in Asia Liague Ice Hockey? Thanks.

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    We need to see a Japanese skater in the NHL. We've already had a Korean skater. A Chinese skater is impossible!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Bucks View Post
    Oh yeah, Fukufuji is now in the Dutch league for the upcoming season, he hopes this will open doors to move to higher European leagues, provided that he performs well.
    http://jhockey.wordpress.com/2009/05...ay-in-holland/
    He's still the ONLY Japanese born player to every play in the NHL. It's too bad he didn't stay in LA/NHL since he did pretty good the 2 periods he played!

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    IHF Member jaaa's Avatar
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    Slovak team ŠHK 37 Piešťany that will play either in Slovak Extraliga or in EBEL in the 12/13 season is currently negotiating with two players from the Japanese U18 national team, which played at the U18 Div IA championship in Piešťany last month. The two players are D Yoshiya Yokoyama and F Yuri Tarao.
    25th of June 2015 - Worst day in the history of modern hockey in Slovakia

    See you in 2019...perhaps...

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