Martin Kariya
Position Forward
Shoots Right
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
175 lb (80 kg)
NLA Team
F. Teams
HC Ambri-Piotta
SCL Tigers
Portland Pirates
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Peoria Rivermen
Espoo Blues
Dinamo Riga
Born (1981-10-05)October 5, 1981,
Vancouver, BC, CAN
NHL Draft Undrafted
Pro Career 2003 – present

Martin Tetsuya Kariya (born October 5, 1981 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a professional ice hockey right winger for HC Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss Hockey League.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Amateur[edit | edit source]

Kariya had a standout NCAA college hockey career at the University of Maine from 1999 to 2003 while earning a degree in Mathematics. During his four years at the University of Maine, the team made 2 Frozen Four appearances. In Martin's junior college season the Black Bears reached the 2001–02 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship final game where they suffered a disappointing 4-3 OT loss to the University of Minnesota. Martin was the captain of the team in his senior year and was also the top scorer with 50 points in 39 games. Martin was awarded the Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award and named to Hockey East First All-Star Team. He finished his Black Bear career 11th in all-time scoring with 155 points and was subsequently named in Maine's All Decade Team.[1]

Professional[edit | edit source]

Kariya's outstanding college hockey career caught the attention of the Portland Pirates of the AHL, who offered him a contract to join their team for the 2002–03 playoffs. On July 22, 2003, Martin then signed with the New York Islanders affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the 2003–04 season.

The 2004 NHL Lockout was a bump in the road for Kariya. Rather than waiting for the NHL season to resume, Martin headed to Japan to play for the Nikko IceBucks in the Asian Hockey League where he was a favorite with Japanese hockey fans. Next he played in Fredrikstad Norway for Stjernen HC and recorded 52 points in 39 games. This caught the attention of hockey scouts from Europe's top leagues and led to Martin signing with the Espoo Blues of the Finnish SM-liiga for the 2006-2007 season. Martin's speed and skill helped him to dominate the Finnish league. He was the top scorer with 61 points in 51 games and was considered arguably the best forward in the league.

Having had so much success in Europe, Martin then signed his first NHL contract with the St. Louis Blues on June 1, 2007, for the following 2007–08 season.[2] On October 1, 2007, Kariya was among the final cuts as he was assigned to affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.[3] Kariya enjoyed his most successful season in the AHL recording 53 points in 71 games.

For the 2008–09 season he returned to Europe to play in the lucrative Swiss League where he finished 5th in the league's scoring standings and was a key player for the SCL Tigers. On July 15, 2009, Kariya signed with the Dinamo Riga of the KHL.[4] In the 2009–10 season, Martin established himself as an integral part of Riga's offense scoring 22 points in 38 games.[5] Kariya was limited to 38 games after suffering a well publicized concussion in which the KHL was criticized over the immediate medical protocol to his condition.[6] Upon his return, Kariya helped Riga past the first round in the playoffs, leading the KHL with 5 points in 4 games against SKA St. Petersburg after the first round.[7]

On May 3, 2010, Kariya returned to the NLA, signing a two-year contract with HC Ambri-Piotta.[8]

International play[edit | edit source]

Kariya has had several opportunities to represent Canada in international ice hockey competition. These include the 2005 Loto Cup, the 2005, 2008 and 2010 Spengler Cup, the 2006 Deutschland Cup and the 2007 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in Moscow.

Awards[edit | edit source]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 University of Maine HE 35 8 17 25 6
2000–01 University of Maine HE 39 12 24 36 10
2001–02 University of Maine HE 43 16 28 44 14
2002–03 University of Maine HE 39 14 36 50 6
2002–03 Portland Pirates AHL 3 0 0 0 0
2003–04 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 70 8 17 25 16 7 0 1 1 2
2004–05 Nikkō Ice Bucks ALH 15 6 12 18 20
2005–06 Stjernen Fredrikstad GET 39 15 37 52 49 11 3 10 13 8
2006–07 Blues SM-l 51 18 43 61 58 9 0 5 5 4
2007–08 Peoria Rivermen AHL 71 16 37 53 29
2008–09 SCL Tigers NLA 50 15 43 58 22
2009–10 Dinamo Riga KHL 38 4 18 22 16 9 3 2 5 2
2010–11 HC Ambrì-Piotta NLA 38 5 21 26 8
AHL totals 141 24 54 78 45 10 0 1 1 2
KHL totals 38 4 18 22 16 9 3 2 5 2

Personal[edit | edit source]

Martin is the younger brother of Steve and Noriko and the famous Paul Kariya. He is of Japanese and Scottish descent.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Tony Salmelainen
Winner of the Veli-Pekka Ketola trophy
Succeeded by
Janne Pesonen
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