East Hokkaido Cranes
The East Hokkaido Cranes (Japanese: ひがし北海道クレインズ Higashi Hokkaidō kureinzu) are a professional ice hockey team based in Kushiro, Japan. They are a members of the Asia League Ice Hockey and play their home games at the Kushiro Ice Arena.
|East Hokkaido Cranes|
|League||Asia League Ice Hockey|
|Home arena||Kushiro Ice Arena|
|Colours||Black, Red, White|
|General manager||Aldis Girgensons|
|Head coach||Hiroshi Sato|
|Website||East Hokkaido Cranes|
The East Hokkaido Cranes formed in April 2019, as a phoenix club following the demise of the Nippon Paper Cranes franchise. The Paper Cranes had previously existed for 70 years; however, their owners, Nippon Paper Industries, announced in December 2018 that the team would be put up for sale as a result of corporate streamlining and declining revenues. No buyer was found, and as a result the team folded.
The East Hokkaido Ice Hockey Club LLC, led by Tanaka Shigeki, announced that they had secured ¥125 million of founding, enabling the establishment of the new team. Asia League Ice Hockey chairman Sumio Kobayashi announced on 23 April 2019 that the new franchise would join the league, replacing the Paper Cranes, whilst retaining 15 players and playing out of the same arena.
|Number||Player||Catches||Acquired||Place of Birth|
|33||Jānis Auziņš||L||2019||Riga, Latvia|
|Number||Player||Shoots||Acquired||Place of Birth|
|7||Edmunds Augstkalns||L||2019||Riga, Latvia|
|3||Kengo Ito||L||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|23||Kazunari Koizumi||R||2019||Tomakomai, Japan|
|52||Kenta Matsukane (A)||R||2019|
|65||Keigo Minoshima||L||2019||Obihiro, Japan|
|79||Yuki Yamazaki||L||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|77||Shinya Yanadori||L||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|Number||Player||Shoots||Position||Acquired||Place of Birth|
|92||Ikki Ikeda||R||F||2019||Tomakomai, Japan|
|8||Taiga Irikura||R||C||2019||Tomakomai, Japan|
|14||Shoma Izumi||R||F||2019||Tomakomai, Japan|
|40||Takuma Kawai||L||LW||2019||Eniwa, Japan|
|47||Naoya Kubo||R||F||2019||Tomakomai, Japan|
|11||Masahito Nishiwaki||R||LW//RW||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|10||Kosuke Otsu (A)||R||F||2018||Nikkō, Japan|
|91||Takeshi Saito||R||RW||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|18||Shunsuke Shigeno||L||F||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|36||Yokuto Takami||L||F||2019||Kushiro, Japan|
|48||Hiroki Ueno (C)||L||LW/RW||2019||Nagano, Japan|
- "'East Hokkaido Cranes' to succeed Nippon Paper franchise". The Japan Times. 24 April 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "Four-time Asia champion Nippon Paper Cranes to fold in 2019". The Japan Times. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "About nominating new teams". Asia League Ice Hockey. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "Game info East Hokkaido Cranes - Nikko Ice Bucks". East Hokkaido Cranes. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "EliteProspects - East Hokkaido Cranes". Eliteprospects (in Dutch). Retrieved December 11, 2019.
- East Hokkaido Cranes official website (in Japanese)