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Wings Sign Taro Hirose To A Two-Year ELC

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with left wing Taro Hirose on a two-year entry-level contract.

Hirose, 22, has spent the last three seasons at Michigan State and has totaled 116 points (33-83-116) in 106 games. This season, Hirose led the nation in points (50), points-per-game (1.47), assists (35), multi-point games (15) and three-point games (9). The 5-foot-10, 160-pound winger was also the Big Ten scoring champion this season, tallying 34 points (10-24-34) in 24 conference games. Hirose became the 15th Spartan to hit the 100-career point mark since 2000, and his 50 points on the year mark the highest point-total for a Spartan since John-Michael Liles recorded 50 points in 2002-03. Hirose, who took the NCAA lead in points and assists on Jan. 4 and carried it throughout the rest of the season, had points in all but eight games for the Spartans and found the scoresheet in 34 of 43 games dating back to the 2017-18 campaign. Hirose was also named one of three finalists for the Big Ten Player of the Year Award, which will be announced next week.

Prior to his collegiate career, Hirose played two seasons (2014-16) with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia Hockey League where he totaled 121 points (33-88-121) in 116 games. During the 2015-16 campaign with the Silverbacks, the Calgary, Alberta, native ranked 13th in the BCHL in points (71) and fourth in assists (56), both of which led the team. Hirose also led the Silverbacks in scoring (18-32-50) in his first season with the club (2014-15), en route to being named the team's Rookie of the Year.

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Comments

Paul's avatar

via Corey Pronman of The Athletic ($$$),

Taro Hirose, LW, Michigan State University-Big 10

June 30, 1996 | 5-foot-10 | 161 pounds

Hirose is the top scorer in college hockey this season. He’s a skilled forward with great hockey sense who moves the puck creatively and can run a power play. He’s not that big, though, and his skating is very average, which might limit him at the next level.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/12/19 at 06:40 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

I don’t know all the vagaries of college rules and the NHL draft, etc, but I wonder why these guys didn’t get drafted… Both led their leagues in various offensive categories and are def draft age, anyway. So how did they slip thru?

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 03/12/19 at 06:57 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 03/12/19 at 06:57 PM ET

Sometimes they aren’t well known because they go from USA High School into College.
Other times, they are drafted but aren’t signed by their NHL club within a certain time frame. I think DDK was this. I’m pretty sure Jimmy Vesey was this.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 03/12/19 at 07:03 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t know all the vagaries of college rules and the NHL draft, etc, but I wonder why these guys didn’t get drafted… Both led their leagues in various offensive categories and are def draft age, anyway. So how did they slip thru?

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 03/12/19 at 06:57 PM ET

I don’t know with Hirose.  I was surprised he wasn’t drafted two years ago, let alone last.  It’s been clear that Hirose had definite potential and ability, even on bad MSU teams.

Keep in mind though, Torey Krug was on Not Great MSU teams and played 3 years, and they literally ran the offense through him that last year.  And he was undrafted but was immediately signed as a UFA.  Sometimes I think teams just refuse to draft NCAA guys hoping thy’ll get them for free instead.

Posted by Primis on 03/12/19 at 07:13 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Max Bultman tweets,

Both Hirose and Kuffner will finish the season in Detroit down the stretch—Holland wants to show both what the NHL is about, wants them to have a big summer, get stronger and compete for NHL jobs in September.

Ken Holland seemed to leave the door open to the possibility of a college FA defenseman.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/12/19 at 07:14 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Ken Holland seemed to leave the door open to the possibility of a college FA defenseman.

All good but you have to move some vets out this summer - Daley is on the top of the list as he might be movable.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 03/12/19 at 10:35 PM ET

Avatar

Tell Kronwall to move on. That’s one spot. Trade Daley for some sock tape. That’s 2 spots. Scratch Ericsson all year. That’s 3 spots.

Starts with a GM with an actual plan.

Posted by rogerrab on 03/12/19 at 11:08 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

I guess we will get a chance to see both these players on the Wings this season:

https://www.mlive.com/redwings/2019/03/college-free-agents-ryan-kuffner-taro-hirose-will-play-for-red-wings-this-season.html

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 03/13/19 at 08:32 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com