Abbotsford, BC -- Abbotsford Canucks General Manager, Ryan Johnson, announced today that Canucks forward, Yushiroh Hirano, has been selected to represent Japan at the 2022 IIHF Division 1 Group B World Championships in Tychy, Poland.

Hirano, who was signed to a professional try out agreement on January 5, will be released from his contract with Abbotsford on April 11 so he can join the Japan Ice Hockey Federation’s training camp ahead of the tournament.

“While Yushiroh has been a big part of our team this season, it was an obvious decision for our organization to allow him to leave Abbotsford and take advantage of this terrific opportunity”, stated Abbotsford GM Ryan Johnson. “Yushiroh has set a great example as a player and as a teammate, while showing professionalism and dedication off of the ice as well. He has been an exceptional role model for our young fans in the Japanese community, and I know that is something he is very proud of. We will certainly be cheering him on.”

Since joining Abbotsford, Hirano has skated in 28 games for the club, recording nine points (five goals, four assists) and registering 14 penalty minutes. He scored his first career AHL goal on January 22 against San Diego’s Francis Marotte in the Canucks’ 5-3 home victory over the Gulls. The goal was scored at the 10-second mark of the first period, and remains the fastest goal to start a game in franchise history. Hirano also recorded the first multi-point game of his AHL career when he recorded a goal and an assist in Abbotsford’s 5-4 overtime victory over Colorado on March 13.

“I would like to thank the Canucks organization for allowing me to go to the World Championships”, said Hirano, “I will do my best in this tournament to show what I have learned playing in Abbotsford at this level. Thank you to my teammates, the staff, and the fans in Abbotsford for welcoming me here. My goal is to help make hockey a bigger sport in Japan, and the organization is helping me to do that.”

Hirano will remain on Abbotsford’s roster for the team’s upcoming home games against San Diego on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 before leaving the team on April 12.