Ryan Kuwabara – Assistant Coach
Ryan Kuwabara enters his second season as Assistant Coach with the Saginaw Spirit after being named to the position in August 2017.
Kuwabara comes to the Spirit from the Ancaster Avalanche Jr. B, where he spent the four seasons as their Head Coach. Kuwabara is an OHL graduate, playing with the Ottawa 67’s from 1989-1992. The 67’s first round pick in 1989 was the recipient of the Bobby Smith Trophy for OHL Scholastic Player of the Year during the 1989-90 season. The Montreal Canadiens selected Kuwabara in the second round, 39th overall, in the 1990 NHL Draft later that summer. The 6’0 right winger scored 240 points in just 196 OHL games, all with the 67’s.
After two seasons in the Montreal Canadiens organization, Kuwabara traveled to Japan, where he would play 14 of his 18-year pro hockey career. In 1998, Kuwabara was awarded the opportunity to play for Japan in the XVIII Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Kuwabara’s two goals in the tournament helped Japan to their first Olympic Ice Hockey win since the 1976 games on February 12, 1998, a 4-3 shootout win over Austria in the consolation round. Kuwabara would also appear in four Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships as a member of the Japanese National Team.
Kuwabara won an astounding seven championships as a player. He is a five-time Japan Ice Hockey League Champion, a British Ice Hockey SuperLeague Champion, and a Canadian Senior Ice Hockey Champion.