• Kyodo


Japan national team goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji signed a contract Tuesday with the Los Angeles Kings in a move that will make him the NHL’s first Japanese player.

The 22-year-old Fukufuji put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Kings and will join the team’s training camp with an eye on getting a place on the bench for the opening day of the North American pro ice hockey league season Oct. 5.

“I can’t put into words how happy I am,” Fukufuji said after signing the contract.

“It doesn’t really mean anything to me that I’m the first Japanese player. Everything will be very tough for me but I know exactly what I have to do.”

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