DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today assigned left wing Taro Hirose and right wing Givani Smith to the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, the Red Wings removed right wing Anthony Mantha and center Frans Nielsen from injured reserve.
Hirose, 23, has split his first professional campaign between the Red Wings and Griffins. In 26 games at the NHL level, he has totaled seven points (2-5-7) and six penalty minutes, bringing his career NHL totals to 14 points (3-11-14) and eight penalty minutes in 36 games, having joined the Red Wings late in the 2018-19 season as a free agent from Michigan State University. The 5-foot-10, 162-pound winger earned in assist in his first five games with Detroit, matching Dylan Larkin's franchise record for the longest point streak to begin an NHL career before scoring his first NHL goal on March 31, 2019 against the Boston Bruins. Since joining the Griffins on Dec. 3, Hirose has picked up 19 points (4-15-19) and 10 penalty minutes in 22 games. He is tied for seventh overall in team scoring, while ranking second on the club in points-per-game (0.86).
A native of Calgary, Alberta, Hirose appeared in 106 games at Michigan State from 2016-19, totaling 116 points (33-83-116) and 39 penalty minutes. As a junior in 2018-19, Hirose led the nation in points (50), points-per-game (1.47), assists (35), multi-point games (15) and three-point games (9) en route to being named the Big Ten Player of the Year. Prior to his collegiate career, Hirose played two seasons (2014-16) with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia Hockey League where he totaled 121 points (33-88-121) in 116 games. During the 2015-16 campaign with the Silverbacks, he ranked 13th in the BCHL in points (71) and fourth in assists (56), both of which led the team. Hirose also led the Silverbacks in scoring (18-32-50) in his first season with the club (2014-15), while route to being named the team's Rookie of the Year.
Smith, 21, made his NHL debut with the Red Wings on Oct. 25 vs. Buffalo and has appeared in 21 games with the Red Wings in his second professional campaign. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger earned his first NHL point with an assist on Jan. 7 vs. Montreal before scoring his first NHL goal on Jan. 14 at NY Islanders. He has totaled three points (2-1-3), nine penalty minutes, 22 shots on goal and 42 hits in 9:41 average time on ice. Smith has also skated in 24 games with the Griffins this season, posting 13 points (4-9-13) to match his rookie-year output of 13 points (6-7-13) in 64 games during the 2018-19 season, while still leading the Griffins with 61 penalty minutes. In 91 career AHL games since 2016-17, Smith has notched 26 points (10-16-26), 149 penalty minutes and 97 shots on goal.
The Toronto, Ontario, native was selected by Detroit in the second round (46th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to turning professional. In 236 games with the Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm and Kitchener Rangers from 2014-18, Smith tallied 135 points (73-62-135) and 411 penalty minutes, leading the league in penalty minutes in consecutive seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17. In his final OHL campaign split between Guelph and Kitchener in 2017-18, Smith picked up 30 points (17-13-30) in 46 regular-season games before racking up 18 points (11-7-18) in 18 playoff games with Kitchener.
Taro Hirose, Left Wing
Born Jun 30 1996 -- Calgary, ALTA
Height 5.10 -- Weight 162 -- Shoots L
Givani Smith, Right Wing
Born Feb 27 1998 -- Toronto, ONT
Height 6.02 -- Weight 210 -- Shoots L