Yushiroh Hirano waves goodbye to Canucks fans at his final game last season. He will be back in green, white and blue in 2022-23. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Yushiroh Hirano waves goodbye to Canucks fans at his final game last season. He will be back in green, white and blue in 2022-23. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS

Abbotsford Canucks sign forward Yushiroh Hirano

First Japanese-born player to score in the AHL returning to Abbotsford Canucks

Yushiroh Hirano is back with the Abbotsford Canucks.

General manager Ryan Johnson announced on Tuesday (July 19) that the Canucks have signed the first-Japanese born player to score a goal in American Hockey League history to a one-year, two-way contract.

The contract applies to both the AHL and the ECHL.

Hirano collected 12 points and 18 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Canucks in 2021-22. He made his debut with the club on Jan. 7 and scored the history making goal on Jan. 22. The 26-year-old started the season with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones and recorded 29 points in 25 games.

“Yushiroh joined our group last year in a really adverse time and he helped the team in a big way,” stated Ryan Johnson. “We are happy to have him back in Abbotsford for the upcoming season.”

He was released early on April 12 from the Canucks to represent Japan at the 2022 IIHF Division 1 Group B World Hockey Championships in Tychy, Poland. Hirano led the tournament in goals (six) and points (10) while helping his team place second in the group standings.

In other Abbotsford Canucks news, defencemen Wyatt Kalynuk and Christian Wolanin were both signed to one-year, two-way deals last week. Forward Phil Di Giuseppe and goalie Colin Delia were both also signed by the Canucks.

Goalie Michael DiPietro was also extended his qualifying offer by the Canucks.

Canucks players from last year signing elsewhere include: forwards Sheldon Rempal (Vegas Golden Knights) and Nic Petan (Minnesota Wild) and defencemen Madison Bowey (Montreal Canadiens) and Ashton Sautner (Winnipeg Jets).

Forwards Justin Bailey, Nicolas Guay and Jarid Lukosevicius, as well as defenceman Devante Stephens all remain unrestricted free agents.

RELATED: Abbotsford Canucks offseason outlook

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