BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Two Bakersfield Condors have been chosen to represent their country in an Olympic qualifying tournament next month in Kloten, Sweden.
Center Lars-Peder Nagel has been selected to the Norwegian national team and goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji is one of four goaltenders on the Japanese national team roster.
The tournament, which also features teams from Switzerland and Denmark, begins on Feb. 10. The winning team qualifies to play in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.
It has not yet been determined whether either player will join their respective Olympic squad. The Condors play four games in a span of five nights during the time the players would be gone.
Both Nagel, 23, and Fukufuji, 21, have played for their national teams in the past.
Nagel played in international tournaments for Norway in 2003 and 2004 and was a member of Norway’s Junior World Cup team in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Fukufuji played for the Japanese World Cup team in 2004.
An eighth-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Kings in 2004 and assigned to the Condors, Fukufuji (14-5-3) is tied for third in the ECHL for victories. He has a 2.61 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
Nagel, of Oslo, Norway, has scored 12 points over the last 10 games and leads the Condors in scoring with 35 points. He is the fourth-highest scoring rookie in the ECHL.