KINGS AGREE TO CONTRACT TERMS WITH YUTAKA FUKUFUJI
/ Los Angeles Kings
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a two-year entry-level contract with goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji, Kings Senior Vice President/General Manager Dave Taylor announced today. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
Fukufuji, 22, led the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) in appearances (44), wins (27), shutouts (3) and goals-against-average (2.48) during the 2004-05 season. The first-ever Japanese player drafted by the Kings, Fukufuji also finished second on the Condors with a save-percentage of .919.
Fukufuji's 27 wins this past season tied for fifth-best among ECHL netminders. The 6-1, 160-pound native of Tokyo, Japan, who was originally selected by the Kings in the eighth-round (238th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, also strung together two separate seven-game winning streaks during the 2004-05 season, helping the Condors advance to the Kelly Cup playoffs. Voted "Rookie of the Year" by the Bakersfield coaching staff, Fukufuji's season ended prematurely with a leg injury against the Las Vegas Wranglers on April 2, 2005.
Prior to being selected by the Kings, Fukufuji skated with Japan at the 2004 World Championships, posting a record of 0-3-2, a goals-against-average of 3.61 and a save-percentage of .893 in five appearances while facing an average of 34 shots against per contest.