Sakakini has been playing in China for three seasons but has now set his sights on the NBA.
The New York Rangers spoiled Chicago’s banner-raising by winning 3-2 at the Blackhawks as the new NHL season got underway.
The Blackhawks rolled out the banner after its sixth NHL title last season but the Rangers quickly dampened celebrations for the sellout crowd on what was a bad opening day for host teams.
New York scored three times in the opening period, through Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Klein and Derek Stepan.
JT Miller had two assists and Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves.
Chicago, which is aiming to be the first team in 18 years to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, got goals from Artemi Panarin and Teuvo Teravainen.
Meanwhile, Montreal goaltender Carey Price made 36 saves to help the Canadiens win 3-1 at Toronto, tarnishing Mike Babcock’s coaching debut with the Maple Leafs.
Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty scored on Montreal’s first shot a few minutes in for the first goal of the NHL season. Alex Galchenyuk broke a tie midway through the third period, and Pacioretty added an empty-netter.
San Jose captain Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists, and Joonas Donskoi scored in his NHL debut as the Sharks won 5-1 at Los Angeles.
Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists to lead the Canucks to a 5-1 victory at Calgary.
Montreal 3-1 Toronto
NY Rangers 3-2 Chicago
Vancouver 5-1 Calgary
San Jose 5-1 Los Angeles