The Detroit Red Wings took a chance on forward Taro Hirose after signing him away from Michigan State University after his 2018-19 campaign with the Spartans. He signed an entry-level deal with the Red Wings and has since been able to stick in a role with the Red Wings.
That could change as Hirose gets another chance to play in the Red Wings lineup once again. With COVID-19 protocol claiming parts of the Red Wings roster, Hirose got his chance. He made the taxi squad roster out of training camp and now finds his way into the Red Wings lineup.
I will be the first to admit; I had Hirose becoming a top-six threat and being similar to what Robby Fabbri is for this organization. I claimed Hirose was going to develop into a playmaking winger who was more than effective in the offensive zone. That was just a stretch to make that claim; since then, it has become a lot clearer as to what Hirose can be for this organization.
Hirose should use this chance to try and stick with the Red Wings lineup consistently. If he can find a home on the third line, he might be able to tap into his playmaking skill set. In the recent contest against Dallas, Hirose looked good on the powerplay opportunity he got as well.
Detroit Red Wings forward Taro Hirose will try to earn a consistent spot in the bottom six during his time filling in during COVID absences.
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In 2019-20, Hirose spent 26 games with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL level; he registered just two goals and five assists for seven points. He would then get demoted to the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he registered five goals and 22 assists for 27 total games.
Hirose has played two games for the Red Wings in 2020-21, where he has just one assist. Hopefully, over this extended stay on the roster, Hirose is going to settle in nicely. The third line should suit him well, especially if Michael Rasmussen settles in.
In the recent contest against the Dallas Stars, the Red Wings opted to run the fourth line of Hirose, Rasmussen, and Givani Smith. Three youngsters on the same line worked out decently in their first appearance as a trio.
Hirose can be a playmaking threat, as was evident in his powerplay opportunity. Surprisingly enough, he managed to create some scoring chances by showing some patience and then firing a good shot on net that Rasmussen was just unable to knock it home.
It may have just been one game, but the point is that Hirose should capitalize on this opportunity. If he can settle in as a consistent face in the Red Wings bottom-six, the organization is lucking out.
My initial thoughts on Hirose were that he could be a top-six playmaker and scoring threat. Reality sets in, I have since realized what Hirose is actually capable of, and if he can stick in a bottom-six role, he could be money (to an extent).
With several players out amid a COVID-19 absence, the Detroit Red Wings should expect Taro Hirose to battle for a bottom-six role with the organization.