Nana Fujimoto, goaltender for the Japanese National Team, has signed a deal with the New York Riveters of the NWHL, the team announced on Monday.
The 5-foot-4 goaltender lead the Japanese National Team to a qualification for the Sochi Olympics in 2014. She followed that up by an even better performance at the 2015 IIHF World Championships in Malmo, Sweden, where she was named the tournament’s Best Goaltender with a .938 Sv%, a shutout, and a 1.52 GAA. In Malmö, the Japanese National Team avoided relegation and grabbed the team’s first-ever win over Sweden.
— NWHL (@NWHL) July 27, 2015
In a release from the NWHL, Riveters GM (and league commissioner) Dani Rylan said:
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Nana Fujimoto… She is one of the best goaltenders in the world and her sheer joy while playing is contagious to teammates and fans alike. She literally traveled across the globe to earn a spot in the NWHL and we are both honored and ecstatic to welcome a member of Smile Japan to the league.
For more on the signing, read an interview with Fujimoto by Puck Daddy’s Jen Neale, who broke the news of the signing.
The inaugural NWHL season will begin on October 11.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.