List of Asian hockey players, both active and retired. There are many Asian-American hockey players in the NHL as well as many Canadian hockey players of Asian descent. The top Asians in the NHL, over the course of its existence, are here on the Asian hockey players in the NHL list.Asians in the NHL date back to the mid-20th century and more and more hockey players of Asian descent. Who was the first Asian NHL player? In 1948, Chinese-Canadian hockey player Larry Kowng became the first Asian hockey player to play in the NHL, playing with the New York Rangers in the Montreal Forum. In 1990, Korean hockey player Jim Paek was the first Asian-born player to win the Stanley Cup, playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins.