The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have signed forwards Yushiroh Hirano and Jamie Devane to AHL-level contracts for the 2019-20 season, the team announced on Wednesday.
Hirano, a native of Tomakomai, Japan, made the jump to Wheeling from the Asia League last season. He began the season on an ECHL contract and stumbled out of the gate as he adjusted to the North American game, missing some games as a healthy scratch. He finished the season as the Nailers’ second-leading scorer, with 19 goals and 38 assists in 67 games.
Hirano earned an AHL deal with Wilkes-Barre mid-season, and played his first (and only) AHL game as a Black Ace after Wilkes-Barre was eliminated from playoff contention. With the assist on a Cedric Lacroix goal in his AHL debut, Hirano became the first Japanese player in AHL history to record a point.
Hirano’s greatest strength is his shot, which is right-handed. It’s a rocket, and it’s accurate:
Hirano stands at 5-feet-11, 216 pounds, and he'll turn 24 later this month. I have more on him in this feature from last season.
Devane, 28, was originally a third-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2009. He's played in 318 professional games over the past seven seasons, primarily in the AHL. He was scoreless in two NHL games with Toronto in the 2013-14 season.
Devane played for the AHL's Ontario Reign last season, recording two goals and one assist in 27 games.
At 6-feet-5 and 231 pounds, Devane is the biggest player on Wilkes-Barre's roster for next season.
Devane played junior hockey for four seasons with the Plymouth Whalers from 2008-12, where new Wilkes-Barre head coach Mike Vellucci was head coach and general manager.