Swift To Japan

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It looks like the Asia League of Hockey will return to action for the 2011-12 season. The playoff championship for the league that has teams in Japan, South Korea and China was suspended due to the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that rocked the region earlier this year. The Tohoku Free Blades were set to playoff against the Anyang Halla in the finals when the earthquake happened quite near Tohoku. The playoffs were suspended and eventually, both teams were determined as co-champions of the 2010-11 season.

michael swift japan high1 asia league hockey
Michael Swift as a member of the AHL's Worcester Sharks.

High1 finished fifth in the seven team league in 2010-11. The team has gone out and acquired an Ontario Hockey League grad that should put a ton of pucks in the net for the them. Michael Swift spent the past season in the American Hockey League, starting with the Albany Devils and moving to the Worcester Sharks at the trade deadline.

Swift played five season in the Ontario Hockey League from 2003-04 to 2007-08 with the Mississauga and Niagara IceDogs. Swift was the last ever team captain of the Mississauga IceDogs and the first ever of the Niagara IceDogs. In his final season with Niagara, he finished tied for seventh in league scoring with exactly 100 points. He earned the Leo Lalonde Trophy as the OHL’s top overage player. Swift is proof that low draft picks still have a chance. Michael was taken in the 10th round of the 2003 OHL Priority Draft, 186th overall.

Undrafted, Swift was scooped up by the New Jersey Devils organization and has been with their AHL affiliate since 2008-09. Michael led the Lowell Devils in goals with 24 in 2009-10 and his combined points total between the Albany Devils and the Worcester Sharks wsa good for fourth on the AHL affiliate of San Jose.

The ALH also attracts a handful of Ontario Hockey League grads each season. So far, just Swift, Ric Jackman and Bryan Young are signed up for the upcoming season.

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