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Red Wings Assign Hirose, Smith

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday assigned forwards Taro Hirose and Givani Smith to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Hirose, 23, became the 183rd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he returned to Detroit’s lineup last Thursday at Buffalo. In 26 games with the Red Wings this season, the 5-foot-10, 162-pound winger has tallied seven points (2-5—7) and six penalty minutes in 12:33 average ice time. First assigned to Grand Rapids on Dec. 3, Hirose’s 15 assists and 19 points in 22 games with the Griffins are both team highs in that span.

Hirose made his pro debut with Detroit during a 10-game stint at the end of last season after signing a two-year entry-level contract on March 12, 2019. He has logged 14 points (3-11—14) in 36 career NHL contests.

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Hirose spent the previous three seasons (2016-19) at Michigan State University where he racked up 116 points (33-83—116) and 39 PIM in 106 contests. During his final collegiate campaign in 2018-19, he tied for the NCAA lead with 50 points in 36 games on his way to being named a Hobey Baker Award finalist, a First Team All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year, a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection, an Academic All-Big Ten selection and to the All-College Hockey News First Team.

Smith, 21, has split the 2019-20 campaign between the Red Wings and Griffins. In 21 games during his NHL debut, Smith has produced three points (2-1—3) and nine PIM in 9:41 average ice time. He became the 180th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he made his debut on Oct. 25 vs. Buffalo and netted his first goal on Jan. 14 at the New York Islanders. A 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger, Smith has posted 13 points (4-9—13) – equaling his output from last year’s rookie season – and a team-high 61 PIM in 24 games for the Griffins.

A second-round selection, 46th overall, by the Red Wings in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Smith made his pro debut with the Griffins during a three-game stint near the end of the 2016-17 season. He has skated in 91 career AHL games, totaling 26 points (10-16—26) and 149 PIM. Smith made his Calder Cup Playoff debut last season and accounted for two assists and nine PIM in four games.

Prior to turning pro, the Toronto, Ontario, native played four seasons (2014-18) in the Ontario Hockey League. In 236 games between Barrie, Guelph and Kitchener, he accumulated 135 points (73-62—135) and 411 PIM and twice led the league in PIM (2016-17 and 2015-16).

The Griffins (22-21-3-4) have points in 11 of their last 13 games and are in Cleveland to play the Monsters today at 7 p.m.

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Photo by Getty Images

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