Hall of Fame: Mel Wakabayashi (1967)

Mel Wakabayashi
Mel Wakabayashi

Mel Wakabayashi

Chatham, Ontario
Years Played: 1964, 1965, 1966
Captain: 1966
All-American: 1965
National Championship: 1964

 

Mel Wakabayashi, of Chatham, Ontario, played for the Chatham Maroons prior to enrolling at the University of Michigan to play center for Coach Al Renfrew.  He played at Michigan from 1964-1966 because freshmen were ineligible to play at that time.

He scored fifty-three goals and seventy-seven assists for a total of 130 career points at Michigan, including two goals during the 1964 NCAA Championship game, when he was chosen for the NCAA All-Tournament Second Team.  In  1965, he was named an All-American and picked for the Denver Post All-WCHA First Team.  Mel Wakabayashi was chosen as the WCHA Most Valuable Player in 1966, the year he was chosen as team captain.  He was named to the Denver Post All-CCHA Second Team and Great Lakes Invitational All-Tournament Team that same year.  He received the Hal Downes Award for Most Valuable Platter twice, in 1965 and 1966.

After leaving Michigan, he played a year of minor league hockey before moving to Japan, where he played for eleven years in the Japan Ice Hockey League, mostly for the Kokudo Bunnies.  Mel Wakabayashi coached the Japanese hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York.  He retired from coaching in the Japan Ice Hockey League in 1994.

 

If you have additional information about this inductee, please send the information to dekersclub@gmail.com.