Left wing Taro Hirose split his first full professional season between Detroit and Grand Rapids, totaling seven points in 26 NHL games and 27 points in 35 AHL appearances.
Regular season stat line
35 GP, 5 goals, 22 assists, 27 points, -3 rating, 12 PIM with GRG
26 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, -12 rating, 6 PIM with DRW
Restricted free agent
22 assists = T14th among rookies
9 PPA = T13th among rookies
By the numbers
1 – Assigned by the Red Wings on Dec. 3, Hirose scored the Griffins’ first goal in his AHL debut against the Chicago Wolves the following night. Givani Smith and Joe Hicketts picked up the assists.
2 – In his fourth AHL game on Dec. 13 at Bakersfield, the 5-foot-10, 162-pound winger netted his first multi-point outing behind a pair of goals and an assist. Hirose’s second lamp lighter came with 12 seconds remaining in overtime in a 6-5 game that saw the Griffins never lead until the end.
2 – In his second career AHL shootout attempt, Hirose netted the deciding goal in the second round of a 3-2 victory at San Diego on Dec. 17. The Calgary, Alberta native’s score helped goaltender Jimmy Howard, who was making his first of two conditioning appearances with the Griffins, earn the win.
3 – Hirose made the Red Wings’ roster to open the season but was assigned to Grand Rapids on Dec. 3. Hirose went on the become the Griffins’ leading point scorer (27) and assist producer (22) from that point of the season forward.
3 – He registered a season-high three assists in a 4-3 overtime win vs. San Diego on Jan. 24. Hirose picked up the secondary assist on each of the Griffins’ final three goals, including Matt Ford’s clincher 1:06 into the extra session. Three assists tied Givani Smith (Dec. 13 at BAK) for a team high this season.
7 – Hirose racked up 10 assists during a season-high seven-game assist streak from Jan. 18-Feb. 14. His streak tied for the fifth-longest of its kind in the league in 2019-20.
19 – Hirose is the 19th player from Michigan State to suit up for the Griffins, joining the likes of Justin Abdelkader, Jake Chelios, Danton Cole and Kip Miller, among others. He was named Hobey Baker Award finalist, a First Team All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year among his accomplishments as a junior during his final season in East Lansing in 2018-19 before signing a two-year contract with the Red Wings in March and going on to score seven points in his first 10 NHL outings.
26 – In 26 games for the Red Wings, Hirose collected seven points (2-5—7) and ranked second behind Filip Zadina (8-7—15 in 28 GP) among the team’s rookie scorers. He recorded two assists in his first four NHL games of the season and had assists in back-to-back outings Oct. 27-29.
183 – Hirose became the 183rd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he returned to Detroit’s lineup on Feb. 6 at Buffalo. He started the season in Detroit and tallied seven points (2-5—7) in 23 games but was assigned to Grand Rapids on Dec. 3. In addition to Feb. 6, Hirose appeared in two more NHL games on Feb. 7 and 9 before being assigned back to the Griffins and finishing the season in the AHL.
Griffiti Magazine Issue No. 4 – The Real Deal
Griffins Hockey – Hirose makes impact from college to pros
Detroit News – Confident Taro Hirose returns to Red Wings lineup
Red & White Authority Podcast – Taro Hirose
MLive - Taro Hirose not surprised by demotion to Griffins