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Asian Menswear Spotlight Series: Jim Paek


Jim Paek is a Korean-born Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He currently serves as the director for hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association, and he is also the head coach of the South Korean National Team. Paek is the first Korean-born to play in the NHL and has his name on the Stanley Cup.⁣

Born in Seoul, South Korea, on April 7, 1967, his family moved to Canada when he was a year old. He played with the Toronto Marlboros minor hockey team in the 1980 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament.⁣

The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Paek in the 1985 NHL Draft Entry. He also played three seasons for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL & another three seasons for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL. He played for the Canadian National Team in 1990-91 for 48 games.⁣

⁣He started his career in the NHL with the Penguins in 1990-91 and subsequently helped the team to win the Stanley Cup in the same year. Being the first Korean national to play in the NHL and has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, he was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame.⁣
⁣He had four seasons and two Stanley Cup wins with the Penguins until he was traded mid-season to the Los Angeles Kings in 1993-94. 
After 18 regular-season games, he moved on to the Ottawa Senators during the 1994-95 season.⁣

⁣He left the NHL after playing a total of 29 games for the Senators & started playing for IHL with Houston Aeros, where he helped the team win the Turner Cup in 1999. He also played for Minnesota Moose, Manitoba Moose, & Cleveland Lumberjacks.⁣

He joined the British Ice Hockey Superleague by playing for the Nottingham Panthers & the Anchorage Aces & West Coast Hockey League.⁣

⁣After retiring from active play, Paek began his coaching career with the Orlando Seals of the World Hockey Association 2. He also served as an assistant coach for the St. Edwards High School, which led the team to an Ohio State Championship. He was named as the assistant head coach of Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, where they won their first Calder Cup in 2013.⁣

⁣In 2014, Paek became the director of hockey for KIHA. He also helped the South Korean team to earn its first-ever Olympic hockey qualification to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.