Beijinger Song Andong became the first Chinese-born player ever selected in the National Hockey League (NHL) draft, when the New York Islanders chose him in the sixth round Saturday.

Born in Beijing, Song currently attends the prestigious Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Now 18, he's been playing hockey since he was six, and has played both at the international level for China's Under-18s, and professionally, for Beijing's little-known professional ice hockey team. Song moved to Canada when he was 10, then started school in the US when he was 15.

Don't call him the Yao Ming of hockey just yet. Despite the momentous move, it may be a while before we see Song starting for the Islanders. He'll first head into the Islanders' farm system to gain more experience.

"'To be the first Chinese player, it's a lot of pressure from people back home,' he said. 'Good pressure. That'll motivate me to become a better player and hopefully I'll make them proud,'" Song said in an interview.

See more of that interview with Song here.

Photo: CBC

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