CANUCKS SIGN HIRANO TO ONE-YEAR, TWO-WAY AHL/ECHL CONTRACT
ABBOTSFORD, BC - Abbotsford Canucks General Manager, Ryan Johnson, announced today that the club has signed forward Yushiroh Hirano to a one-year, two-way contract ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Hirano, 26, spent the majority of the 2021-22 season with Abbotsford, skating in 30 games for the Canucks after signing a professional try out agreement with the club on January 5. He recorded 12 points (five goals, seven assists) and 18 penalty minutes with Abbotsford before being released on April 12 to represent Japan at the 2022 IIHF Division 1 Group B World Hockey Championships in Tychy, Poland. Hirano led the tournament in goals (six) and points (10) while helping his team place second in the group standings. He originally started the season with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, recording 29 points (16 goals, 13 assists) through 25 games before leaving the team to join Abbotsford.
“Yushiroh joined our group last year in a really adverse time and he helped the team in a big way”, stated Ryan Johnson. “We are happy to have him back in Abbotsford for the upcoming season.”
The 6-0, 216-pound winger played his first AHL game in 999 days when he made his Canucks debut on January 7 in Abbotsford’s 4-3 home overtime loss to Bakersfield. He scored his first career AHL goal on January 22 against Franics Marotte in the Canucks’ 5-3 home victory over San Diego, making him the first Japanese-born player to score a goal in AHL history. The goal was scored 10 seconds into the game, which made it the fastest goal to start a game in Abbotsford Canucks franchise history.
A native of Tomakomai, Japan, Hirano became the third Japanese-born player in AHL history when he made his debut for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on 4/14/19, recording an assist in the Penguins’ 5-2 home victory over Binghamton. He currently remains the only forward to play in the American Hockey League who was born in Japan.