Andong Song’s story has the making of a Hollywood movie. It all started at age six at a Bejing shopping mall. Misha, as his friends call him went along with his friends one day to skate at the mall. And that’s all it took! He was taken with skating AND hockey! Soon Misha’s father, Yu Song, a real-estate executive, was coming home with hockey skates from a business trip to Russia. Friends from the U.S. were sending over sticks, helmets and other pieces of equipment. Misha started taking private skating lessons, then joined his friend’s team.
Now at age 18, Andong is a postgraduate student at Phillips Academy. He is only 6 ft tall and weighing 168 pounds. Not the size of a future NHL player. But, fast forward today and he is the first Chinese born player to be selected in the NHL draft. The New York Islanders picked him up in the sixth round of the draft. Charles Wang, the Islanders’ Shanghai-born owner, says the decision was strictly the call of his director of player development, Eric Cairns and the organizational scouting staff, not his birthplace.Andong had never heard of hockey but thought the Zamboniand equipment were cool. Strange that that is all it took to get him interested in the sport.