But the biggest news in his world right now is probably the fact he’s sewn up a college hockey commitment to the defending NCAA-champion University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
Kawaguchi will play his final season of junior hockey this year with the Chilliwack Chiefs and head to Grand Forks, North Dakota for school next fall.
An Abbotsford native, Kawaguchi finished fifth in BCHL scoring last season after posting 45 goals and 38 assists for 83 points in 56 games. He is currently leading the Chiefs with seven goals and eight assists in 11 games. For his BCHL career, he had totaled 89 goals and 83 assists for 172 points in 171 games.
North Dakota won its eighth NCAA national title this past April. Former Penticton Vees standout and 2013 BCHL Top Defenceman Troy Stecher was a part of that team.
This season, the Fighting Hawks will feature Vees grads Dixon Bowen, Tyson Jost and Colton Poolman. In addition to Kawaguchi, the other current BCHL players committed to North Dakota are Nic Jones, Jonny Tychonick and Gabe Bast.
North Dakota competes in the NCAA’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) against Colorado College, Denver, Western Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Cloud State, Minnesota-Duluth and Miami-Ohio.