KINGS AGREE TO CONTRACT TERMS WITH YUTAKA FUKUFUJI
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.