The Nippon Paper Cranes are based in the city of Kushiro on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. They play out of the Kushiro Ice Arena (built in 1996, seats 2539 with room for 500 more standing attendees).
The Cranes were originally established as a company team for Jujo Paper Co. Ltd. in 1949 and continued as such until joining the professional Japan Ice Hockey League in 1974-75. For the majority of its ninteen seasons in the JIHL, the team sat in the bottom half of the six team league.
Upon being renamed the Nippon Paper Cranes in 1993-94, after a merger between Jujo Paper Co. Ltd. with Sanyo Kokusaku Pulp Co., Ltd., the team failed to take flight and finished fourth of six. The team didn’t make the playoffs until the 98-99 season when they lost in the first round to Kokudo 3 games to 2.
However, the Cranes became a perennial playoff team after that until the JIHL ceased operations in 2003-04 due to financial woes affecting the league and a contraction of the league to four teams.
The Cranes along with the other three remaining teams merged with the Korean team, Halla Winia (Anyang Halla) in 2003-04 to form the Asia League.
The Cranes won the short inagural sixteen game schedule with a top record of 13-3 and built a dynasty from 2003-04 to 2013-14 with four consecutive first place finishes and 6 straight trips to the finals. In all, the team made the playoffs for 10 season winning 3 of 7 finals.
2014-15 was the first time the Cranes failed to secure a playoff spot, but with changes to the roster and fierce determination of returning players, they are poised to return to the postseason.
- Asia League Ice Hockey
- 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
- Kushiro Ice Rink/日本製紙アイスアリーナ
Nippon Paper Cranes Roster 2016-17
|3||Ito Kengo 伊藤 賢吾||37||1978-12-04||D||182||80|
|4||Sakata Shun 坂田 駿||28||1987-06-13||D||182||87|
|5||Ebina Masahiro 蛯名 正博||28||1987-11-24||D||180||83|
|8||Irikura Taiga 入倉 大雅||19||1996-09-04||F||179||81|
|9||Takagi Kenta 髙木 健太||22||1993-12-14||RW||184||95|
|10||Otsu Kosuke 大津 晃介||22||1993-09-06||F||173||74|
|11||Nishiwaki Masahito 西脇 雅仁||31||1984-10-06||W||178||82|
|17||Ben Walter ベン ウォルター||32||1984-05-11||C||183||86|
|18||Shigeno Shunsuke 重野 駿佑||26||1990-03-14||C||194||95|
|19||Satoh Hiroshi 佐藤 博史||33||1983-02-18||C||182||98|
|26||Ushu Mei 羽刕 銘||25||1991-05-02||D||181||83|
|28||Jeff LoVecchio ジェフ・ラベッキオ||31||1985-08-26||LW||188||88|
|31||Ohshima Ryosuke 大嶋 良介||28||1987-06-06||G||178||90|
|36||Takami Yokuto 髙見 翼人||24||1991-08-23||F||173||76|
|47||Kubo Naoya 久保 直也||30||1985-08-04||F||174||76|
|48||Ueno Hiroki 上野 拓紀||30||1986-04-08||W||178||80|
|55||Casey Borer ケイシー ボラー||31||1985-07-28||D||188||93|
|61||Ishikawa Hisashi 石川 央||33||1982-09-02||G||183||75|
|70||Inoue Mitsuaki 井上 光明||29||1986-07-04||G||172||67|
|76||Yamazaki Yuki 山崎 勇輝||19||1996-05-08||D||180||80|
|77||Yanadori Shinya 梁取 慎也||29||1986-12-15||D||179||82|
|88||Kazunari Koizumi 小泉 和也||22||1993-11-10||D||177||73|
|91||Nakajima Shogo 中島 彰吾||22||1993-10-26||F||175||78|
|92||Ikeda Ikki 池田 一騎I||23||1992-10-27||F||178||80|