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Canucks sign Minnesota State D-man Hirose to entry-level deal

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The Vancouver Canucks have signed NCAA free-agent defenseman Akito Hirose to a one-year, entry-level contract, the team announced.

Hirose is coming off a stellar three-year run at Minnesota State University (Mankato). He tallied four goals and 23 assists in 38 games for the Mavericks this past season.

"His skating ability is absolutely NHL-quality and he thinks the game at a high level," prospect analyst Chris Peters wrote. "Those two factors give him a chance to be a solid depth defenseman down the line."

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Hirose is 23 years old, shoots left, and is listed at 6-feet and 170 pounds. His brother, Taro, has played 58 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings.

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