Taro Hirose performed really well in his stint with the Detroit Red Wings during the 2018-19 season after signing. After leaving the Michigan State Spartans to play for the Red Wings, Hirose showed a lot of promise which could continue this season.
The Detroit Red Wings signed Taro Hirose last year to an entry-level contract after his Junior year season with the Michigan State Spartans was finished. Alongside Hirose, they signed a few other college players like Ryan Kuffner, but Hirose offered the most upside in his stint with the Red Wings last season. Hirose shows that his style of play is going to have a substantial impact on the Red Wings lineup as they progress through the end of the rebuild.
Through the ten games Hirose spent with the Detroit Red Wings, he managed seven total points, one goal, and the other six points coming as assists. Hirose has produced and shown that the production with Michigan State is going to continue at the NHL-level against NHL talent. He recorded one penalty and was an even zero in plus/minus which provides no issues for the future.
Hirose posted a 37.7% Corsi-For percentage for the Red Wings alongside a -8.5% Corsi Relative percentage. His Corsi-For percentage measures his effectiveness in relation to the teams’ success, when he is on the ice, how much possession the Detroit Red Wings maintain.
The Corsi Relative percentage is how Hirose stacks up against his fellow Detroit Red Wings teammates. Both of his possession metrics are not the best numbers and do not provide a whole lot of excitement, but it is expected for two reasons. He had a ten game sample size, and he is a young forward in the NHL, both of these factors would explain why his possession metrics are not the greatest.
The advanced metrics above do not, however, agree with the “eye test” of Hirose, which is totally okay since the sample size is so small. Hirose is a solid forward, who can excel in offensive positioning, finding ways to be involved in the play, getting good position, and creating scoring chances. Hirose skates well, and for a young forward, he is not afraid to press and push to the net offensively against a good defender. Hirose offers plenty of excitement by the “eye test” that was allowed during the ten-game stint with the Red Wings this past season.
Looking at the video above, it is straightforward to see why the “eye test” should leave Red Wings fans super excited about the future of Hirose. To breakdown, the positives here, look at the way the Red Wings enter the zone, Kronwall throws a hard pass to Hirose who is around the faceoff dot outside the zone, who tips the pass to Athanasiou who has a full head of steam. Athanasiou enters the zone quickly, catching the Boston Bruins defenseman off-guard cutting to the middle creating space for a trailer.
Hirose does an excellent job of catching up to speed, getting to the open ice and being wide open for a pass from Athanasiou after he bails out from the front of the net. Hirose catches the pass and buries it into the wide open right side of the net.
This is an excellent example of Hirose providing good offensive help, finding ways to get open and making sure he executes on scoring opportunities. Assuming Hirose can keep up these types of plays as his future progresses and become a genuine offensive threat for the Red Wings, the future should look bright.
As for the 2019-20 season, look for Hirose’s skill set to come into play more in a sense that the scoring will be there, hopefully in even better numbers. Hirose should be on the roster come opening night and around for the long haul of the Detroit Red Wings future. Hirose possession metrics and all of the advanced metrics should represent his “eye test” results better as time goes on, and the sample size increases.