Vancouver Canucks re-sign defenceman Akito Hirose to two-year contract
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould2 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenceman Akito Hirose to a two-year contract extension, the club announced Sunday afternoon.
Hirose, 24, collected three assists while averaging 17:28 of ice time in seven games with the Canucks after signing with the team near the end of the 2022–23 regular season.
“Akito was a welcome addition to our group at the end of last season and we’re excited to have him back with the organization for two more years,” Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said on Sunday. “He had a strong finish to his college career and then held his own playing seven NHL games against some top-end talent.
“We look forward to having our staff work closely with him beginning this week at Development Camp.”
Hirose’s new contract with the Canucks will feature a two-way salary structure in 2023–24 and a one-way in 2024–25. The deal carries a $787,500 National Hockey League cap hit.
Hirose signed with the Canucks in March upon the conclusion of his three-year collegiate hockey career at Minnesota State University — Mankato. The Calgary product collected 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) as a junior with the Mavericks in 2022–23.
Through his three-year career with the Mavericks, Hirose collected seven goals and 68 points in 104 games. The one-year, entry-level contract he signed with the Canucks earlier this year expired on July 1, making him a 10.2(c) RFA — meaning he was not eligible to file for arbitration or sign an offer sheet with any other NHL club.
Hirose was not drafted into the NHL by any team. The six-foot defenseman, who shoots left, originally headed to Minnesota State in 2020 after he wrapped up a terrific four-year tenure with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the BCHL. His brother, Taro, currently plays in the Detroit Red Wings farm system.
With Hirose now under contract, Nils Höglander is now the only Canucks RFA still in need of a new deal for next season.
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