As nicknames go, Mt. Fuji is no Godzilla. But the 22-year-old hockey goalie may be the next Japanese sports star to catch fire in the U.S. Yutaka Fukufuji recently inked a two-year-deal with the Kings, putting him on track to become the first Japanese-born player in the NHL. Raised on the northern island of Hokkaido - where winter temps can rival Alberta's - Fukufuji was discovered by former Kings scout (and Japan national team coach) Glen Williamson in the late 1990s. Last year, he manned the pipes for the ECHL's Bakersfield Condors, proving effective (27-9) and popular. We must have waited an hour for him to sign autographs in Victoria, says Condors coach Marty Raymond. Fukufuji is quick - he's also called the Japanese Cat - but needs to add muscle to his 6'1 , 191-pound frame. There's a chance he'll be ready in two years, says Kings GM Dave Taylor. For now, Mt. Fuji's goals are more modest: I'd like to face just one NHL shot. "
Well, he's done that. :)