The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have signed their 3rd Rounder form the '07 draft, Akim Aliu. Why is this news? It isn't. But ya know whats kinda neat about it? Akim was born in Okene, Nigeria. This of course is a great opportunity to post the Top 10 List of NHL Players Born in Africa. Ready? Let's go.
10. Akim Aliu (Nigeria) - Blackhawks
9. Rumun Ndur (Nigeria)- Sabers, Rangers, Thrashers
8.Chris Nielsen (Tanzania) - Columbus
7. Olaf Kolzig (South Africa) - Capitals, Lightning
So I guess 6 through 1 will have to wait a few years, since only 4 NHLers in all of history were born in Africa, and I think only 6 have been there. Maybe it's time for a little exposure for our foreign friends. How about instead of playing those pre-season games in Germany and Switzerland, the send the Rangers, Lightning and Sens to Botswana and Togo? Maybe after that kind of exposure we can add a few more names to the list by 2028? Now thats what I call global marketing.
You can also check out the South African Ice Hockey Association website here.