Another day, another under-the-radar signing by Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.
This time around, GMJR has brought in another forward who is coming off quite the surprising 2017-18 campaign.
From the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Derek Grant on a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal has an average annual value of $650,000.
Grant, 28, is coming off a career year with the Anaheim Ducks, where he produced 12 goals, 12 assists and 24 points in 66 games. The versatile Grant ranked third on the Ducks by winning 53.1 percent of his draws. He averaged 49 seconds of shorthanded ice time per game, and 37 seconds on the power play, where he had three man-advantage tallies.
Grant, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, has spent parts of six NHL seasons with Ottawa, Calgary, Buffalo, Nashville and Anaheim, totaling 12 goals, 19 assists and 31 points in 152 regular-season contests.
Back in 2015-16, Grant was an American Hockey League All-Star with the Stockton Heat, Calgary’s affiliate. That year, he averaged better than a point-per-game with Stockton, notching 45 points (27G-18A) in 36 games. Grant was the AHL’s Player of the Month for January that season.
Shortly after turning pro in 2010-11, Grant contributed to the Binghamton Senators’ Calder Cup championship run, netting two points (1G-1A) in seven playoff games. In parts of seven AHL seasons with Binghamton, Rochester and Stockton, Grant has 99 goals and 181 points in 315 regular-season games.
Originally Ottawa’s fourth-round (119th overall) selection in 2008, Grant played two seasons of college hockey at Michigan State.
Some contract info from CapFriendly:
*As of this writing, the terms of the deal have not been officially confirmed.
Here’s a quick glance at some of Grant’s fancier stats:
The data screams “meh.” A sub-50% CF% and FF% throughout the majority of his career won’t please the stat nerds around the league, but Grant, presumably, won’t be seeing too much time with the superstars of the Penguins.
As of now, it’s unclear where Grant will be slotted in the lineup, if he cracks it at all.
Crosby, Malkin, Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, and Matt Cullen all occupy center spots. Guentzel, Hagelin, Zach Aston-Reese, and Dominik Simon are all projected to play on the left wing.
Grant could spark a competition for one of the bottom-six spots.
It’s worth to note that the Penguins traditionally don’t sign players to one-way deals only bury them in the AHL, so Grant may have latched onto the big club for the time being.
All in all, this signing presents no real danger to the Penguins. A one-year, $650K contract is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
If it doesn't work out, oh well. If it does, the Pens may have added another valuable depth piece in their quest for another Stanley Cup.