The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed pending UFA Taro Hirose to a one-year deal, keeping him in the organization. Hirose qualified for Group VI unrestricted free agency after playing in only 42 games for the Red Wings over the last three seasons. PuckPedia reports that the two-way deal is worth $850K at the NHL level, $190K at the AHL level and includes a minor league guarantee of $220K.
Hirose, 25, was an undrafted college free agent signed out of Michigan State University in 2019, and wowed down the stretch in his first professional season. With seven points in his first ten games, it looked like the Red Wings had found a legitimate middle-six option for nothing more than an entry-level contract. As with so many players though, that early success quickly faded, and Hirose recorded just seven points in 26 games the following season. He played just six in a Red Wings uniform during 2020-21.
Still, keeping a player with 16 points in 42 NHL games around for depth purposes isn’t a bad thing, especially when he has been such a big part of the AHL attack. In 29 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins this season, Hirose racked up 28 points. While he may never turn into a full-time NHL option, a one-year deal comes with basically no risk for the Red Wings, who can move him in and out of the lineup whenever necessary.