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Red Wings reassign Hirose, McIlrath and Fulcher to Grand Rapids

Detroit returns to Little Caesars Arena on Monday at 7:30 p.m. against Chicago

by Alex DiFilippo @DetroitRedWings /

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings today reassigned forward Taro Hirose, defenseman Dylan McIlrath and goaltender Kaden Fulcher from the team's taxi squad to the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins.

Hirose, 24, skated in six games with the Red Wings this season, recording two assists, two penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating in 14:22 average time on ice. Originally signed by the Red Wings as a free agent on March 12, 2019, Hirose has appeared in 42 NHL games since turning professional, tallying 16 points (3-13-16) and eight penalty minutes. After making his NHL debut at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, Hirose tied a franchise record by notching an assist in each of his first five games with the team, which tied Dylan Larkin's mark for longest point streak to begin a career. He split his first full professional campaign between the Red Wings and American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins, recording seven points (2-5-7) and six penalty minutes in 26 NHL games along with 27 points (5-22-27) and 12 penalty minutes in 35 AHL contests.

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 being named the team's Rookie of the Year.

McIlrath, 28, appeared in 16 games with Detroit during the 2019-20 season and recorded 48 hits and 23 penalty minutes in 14:49 average ice time per game. He also skated in 44 games with Grand Rapids last season, registering eight points (0-8-8) and 73 penalty minutes, second-most among Griffins. McIlrath has totaled 66 NHL appearances since making his NHL debut in 2013-14, totaling five points (3-2-5) and 121 penalty minutes with the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Red Wings. McIlrath has also played in 397 career AHL games with the Connecticut Whale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Springfield Thunderbirds and Griffins since 2010-11, registering 82 points (21-61-82), a plus-23 rating and 833 penalty minutes. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native won a 2017 Calder Cup championship with the Griffins and has tallied seven points (0-7-7), a plus-13 rating and 71 penalty minutes in 48 career AHL postseason games.

A former first-round pick (10th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers, McIlrath was acquired in a trade by Detroit from Florida on March 1, 2017. The blueliner skated in 232 Western Hockey League games for the Moose Jaw Warriors prior to turning professional, posting 74 points (16-58-74) and 551 penalty minutes from 2008-12, adding seven assists and 48 penalty minutes in 27 postseason contests. He also skated in the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game during the 2009-10 campaign.

Fulcher, 22, enters his third professional season after being limited to two games during the 2019-20 campaign with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye due to injury. The netminder has appeared in 30 games with the Walleye over his first two professional seasons, posting a 15-9-6 record, 3.17 goals-against average, 0.894 save percentage and one shutout. Fulcher made his NHL debut in relief duty during the Red Wings season finale on April 6, 2019 against Buffalo, making nine saves on 11 shots on goal.

Originally signed by the Red Wings as an undrafted free agent on Oct. 3, 2017, Fulcher was a 2018 Ontario Hockey League champion with the Hamilton Bulldogs and posted a 57-44-13 record, 3.19 goals-against average, 0.893 save percentage and five shutouts in 115 OHL games from 2015-18. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound netminder was also named the Most Outstanding Goaltender at the Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup following a 2.27 goals-against average and 0.918 save percentage in four games at the 2018 tournament.

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