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Steve Tsujiura

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Stevetsujiura

Steve Tsujiura (b. February 28 1962 in Coaldale, Ontario, Canada) is a retired professional centre who spent his whole career in the minor leagues and in Europe.

A Medicine Hat Tigers alumnum, Tsujiura was drafted to the National Hockey League 205th overall (10th round) in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers following several solid seasons in the Western Hockey League; he collected 139 points in 72 games in 1980-81 prior to being drafted. As is usually the case with late draftees however, Tsujiura never played in the NHL. He certainly was a talented player, but his diminutive height (5'5", or 166 cm) and weight (163 lbs; 74 kg), inherited from his Japanese ancestry, strongly played against him. Rather, Tsujiura became a very good American Hockey League player, who averaged close to a point per game in his seven seasons-long AHL career. He was awarded the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award in 1985-86, awarded to salute his exemplary display of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

In 1989-90, Tsujiura moved to Europe. While he did play a handful of games in the AHL, he spent the most part of the season in Italy, with HC Gardena, finishing with an outstanding 77 points effort in only 29 games. The next season, he moved to a stronger league, joining the Swiss Nationalliga B side EHC Bülach for two seasons, then HC Davos for two more. Then, in 1994, after having played roller hockey in the summer with the New England Stingers, Tsujiura jumped to the Japanese Ice Hockey League, joining Kokudo Ice Hockey Team. He played four years with Kokudo, and earned the privilege to represent Japan at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.

In 2000, Tsujiura briefly tried to coach, joining the AHL Portland Pirates as an assistant coach. He did not continue after the season, however.


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