By Ross Kelly
Normally the selections in the later rounds of the NHL draft fly under the radar. But a bit of history was made in the sixth round with the selection of Andong Song by the New York Islanders. Song, taken 172nd overall, was born in China and, thus, becomes the first Chinese-born player to be taken in the NHL draft.
At the age of ten Song moved from Beijing to Canada and then five years later settled in New Jersey where he graduated from the Lawrenceville School. He can play forward or defense and next year will attend Phillips Academy Andover, a prep school in Andover, MA. He may already have a fan in the Islanders’ front office as one of the team’s owners, Charles Wang, was also born in China.
This comes just two days after a bit of history was also made in the NBA Draft. With the 52nd pick, the Dallas Mavericks drafted Satnam Singh Bhamara from India. He was the first player from India ever to be taken in the NBA draft and he certainly passes the eye test at 7’2″ 290 lbs. This came nearly 16 years to the day that the Mavs drafted the first Chinese player in NBA history with the selection of Wang Zhizhi in 1999.