Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (National Hockey League). Of course Asians can become excellent hockey players. Here’s a list of them — retired and current — who made it to the pinnacle of the sport, the National Hockey League (NHL). [Want more Asian athletes in pro sports? Go check out our post on Asians in the NFL.]
1. Mathew Dumba (part Filipino, part Caucasian, full Canadian). Plays defence. Drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round (7th overall pick) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Played for Canada in the Ice Hockey World Junior Championships (WJC). Recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year 2011-2012) from the Western Hockey League.
Currently plays for the Minnesota Wild. Relationship status: Apparently he’s dating someone according to a news report on twincities.com; the lucky girl’s name is not mentioned though.
2. Devin Setoguchi (4th generation Japanese in Canada). Plays right wing. Drafted by the San Jose Sharks (8th overall) during the 2005 NHL Draft. Also played for the Calgary Flames, the Minnesota Wild, and the Winnipeg Jets. He currently plays for Calgary. Relationship status: Engaged to Kelly Enfantino according to theknot.com which also states that the wedding date for the couple is on 8 August 2015.
3. Brandon Yip (3/4th Chinese and 1/4th Irish according to wikipedia). Plays right wing. Picked by the Colorado Avalanche during the 2004 NHL Draft. Also played for the Nashville Predators and the Phoenix Coyotes. Relationship status: Engaged to Elizabeth Sleeper.
4. Richard Park (Korean American). Plays right wing. Probably the most enduring Asian hockey player in the NHL. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1994 and played his last NHL game in 2012. He is now playing for the Hockey Club Ambrì-Piotta in Switzerland. Aside from the Penguins, he also played for the following NHL teams: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, and the New York Islanders. Relationship status: Married to Devyn Park.
Here’s a photo of the happy couple:
5. Jon Matsumoto (Japanese Canadian). Plays center. Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2006 NHL Draft. Played for the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers. Currently playing for the Schwenninger Wild Wings in Germany. Relationship status: Married to figure skater Kristen Brady-Matsumoto.
6. Raymond Sawada (Japanese Canadian). Plays right wing. Picked by the Dallas Stars during the 2004 NHL Draft. Currently plays for the Belfast Giants of the Elite Ice Hockey League in Northern Ireland. Relationship status: If you know, do tell us. Hehe. We can’t find any info on the internet whether he has a wife or girlfriend.
7. Paul Kariya (Japanese dad and Scottish mom). Plays left wing. Probably the most accomplished in our list of Asian hockey players in the NHL. He got to do a cameo appearance in a movie too (Mighty Ducks 3). Picked 4th overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim during the 1993 NHL Draft. Also played for the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and the St. Louis Blues. A seven-time NHL All Star. Awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (most sportsmanlike player) for the years 1996 and 1997.
Played for Canada internationally and, with the rest of his teammates, won the gold during the 1994 Italy World Championships and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Relationship status: Does Paul Kariya have a WAG (wife or girlfriend)? You tell us! We would like to know too.
Here’s Paul’s cameo appearance on Mighty Ducks 3:
Hanging out with actor Emilio Estevez, scriptwriter Steven Brill, and producer Jordan Kerner:
8. Chris Beckford-Tseu (Chinese Canadian). Goaltender. Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2003 NHL Draft. Relationship status: The Peoria Journal Star reported in 2013 that he was living with a girlfriend named Ashley.
9. Jamie Storr (Japanese Canadian). Goaltender. Picked 7th overall by the Los Angeles Kings during the 1994 NHL Draft. Also played for the Carolina Hurricanes. Played for Canada in international competitions and, with his teammates, bagged two gold medals at the World Junior Championships (in 1994 and 1995) and a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships. Relationship status: Married to wife Nicole with whom he has three children.
10. Larry Kwong (Chinese Canadian). Has the distinction as the first Asian hockey player to make it to the NHL. Plays right wing. Played with the New York Rangers during the 1947–48 season. Currently lives in British Columbia. He is now 91 years old.
11. David Tanabe (Japanese American). Plays defense. Drafted 16th overall in 1999 by the Carolina Hurricanes. Also played for the Boston Bruins and the Phoenix Coyotes. Relationship status: Married to wife Katherine with whom he has two children.
12. Yutaka Fukufuji (Japanese). Goaltender. Drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2004. Has the distinction as the first Japanese hockey player to play in the NHL. Relationship status: You tell us if he has a wife or girlfriend.
13. Jim Paek (Korean). Plays defense. Is the first Korean-born player to play in the NHL. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1985 and was part of the Penguins team which won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992. Also played for the Los Angeles Kings and the Ottawa Senators. Currently the head coach of the South Korean national team. Relationship status: Married with two kids.
14. Steve Kariya (Japanese Canadian). Plays right wing. Younger brother of Paul Kariya. Played for the Vancouver Canucks from 1999 to 2002.
15. Peter Ing (Chinese Canadian). Goaltender. Drafted 48th overall in 1988 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Also played for the Edmonton Oilers and the Detroit Red Wings.
16. Mike Wong (Chinese American). Forward. Played for the Detroit Red Wings in 1975.
17. Joshua Ho-Sang (of Chinese, Jamaican, Jewish, Chilean, Swedish, and Russian descent). Plays right wing/center. Drafted 28th overall by the New York Islanders during the 2014 NHL Draft. Currently playing with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League. At only 19 years old, he has a promising NHL career ahead of him. Relationship status: You tell us if you are in the know :-)