The Spartans early in the month of April (during Final Four and Frozen Four madness/finals preparation so sorry for missing the news) picked up a forward commitment from Western Canada.
Excited to announce my commitment to Michigan State University. Thank you to all my family and friends who have helped me along the way!— Taro Hirose (@Tarzy17) April 3, 2015
Taro Hirose, an 18 year old forward from Calgary, Alberta became the 7th member of the 2016-17 class, joining the Honeybaked commits (Lewandowski, Eliot, Bederka, Lalonde), Ty Farmer and John Lethemon. The 2016-17 class has shaped up to be an extremely good haul for coach Tom Anastos, who has continued to show an ability to recruit, even without great success on the ice. The class now consists of three defenseman, three forwards and a goaltender.
Hirose recently completed his rookie season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in Canada's British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Hirose was nearly a point per game player with 18 goals, 32 assists and 50 points in 58 games played. Hirose will turn 19 this June and will come in as the elder statesman of the 2016-17 class as a 20 year old. Before arriving in Salmon Arm, Hirose spent three seasons with the Edge School of Calgary, a school focused on athletic and academic development. Hirose is the first Canadian player to commit to Tom Anastos and will be the first Canadian player to suit up for the Spartans since Lee Reimer (2010-2014).
The BCHL is the top junior league in Canada that allows for players to maintain NCAA eligibility. The Spartans have had success in the past recruiting the BCHL with players such as Joe Murphy, Shawn Horcoff and Derek Grant. Currently the roster does feature one BCHL grad, Maryland native David Bondra. Hirose has excellent hands and adds some offensive flair to the 2016-17 class. Be sure to get to know Taro from the video below and welcome him to the Green & White!
Also: I am planning on a 2-3 part series explaining the difference between hockey recruiting and sports such as basketball and football. From the comments on the Thomas Miller commitment I saw that may be of interest to people so keep an eye out for that.