Then and Now: Triston Grant

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Jannik Hansen hasn’t missed a single game for the Vancouver Canucks since the start of the 2010-2011 campaign. After he posted 16 goals and 23 assists in the 2011-2012 regular season, Hansen notched a goal in Vancouver’s Western Conference Quarterfinals’ match-up with the Los Angeles Kings before they were dismissed in five games. Hansen was picked 287th overall by the Canucks in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL Draft, one slot after the Philadelphia Flyers selected left winger Triston Grant.

After his final season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Grant signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Flyers’ organization in the summer of 2005. In his first season with the franchise, Grant played in 64 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms and recorded two goals along with three assists. He also posted 190 penalty minutes thanks in part to 19 fighting majors which included scraps against Daniel Carcillo, Deryk Engelland, and Cam Janssen.

During the 2006-2007 campaign, Grant tasted NHL action for the first time in his career, as he took part in eight contests for the Orange and Black. The forward endured a pair of scraps in his first stretch of games, as well his ability to post the only NHL point of his career.

In addition to fighting Andrew Peters and Andre Roy during his time with the Flyers, Grant registered the primary assist on Geoff Sanderson’s goal in the first period of Philly’s 7-4 win against the Anaheim Ducks on November 15, 2006.

Grant still spent the majority of the season with the Phantoms, as he participated in 61 games for the Flyers’ AHL affiliate. Along with his five goals and six assists, Grant led the team with 199 PIMs thanks to his 17 fighting majors.

The 2007-2008 season was Grant’s final year with the club, as he spent the entire campaign with the Phantoms and experience his first postseason as a professional.

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For a second straight season Grant led the Phantoms in PIMs, as he recorded 181. Along with his 12 fighting majors, Grant posted 10 goals and 11 assists in 72 games for the Phantoms during the regular season to help the club finish second in the East Division with 99 points for a trip to the playoffs.

After a beating the Albany River Rats in seven games in the Divisional Semifinals, the Phantoms lost in five games to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Grant recorded two assists, a minus-two rating, and 34 PIMs. He engaged in two fighting majors, one of which was a narrow win over Paul “Biz Nasty” Bissonnette.

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In the summer of 2008, the Flyers shipped Grant and a seventh-round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Janne Niskala. The Preds traded the pick to the St. Louis Blues, who picked Maxwell Tardy 202nd overall, as the Flyers traded Niskala less than a week later to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft. They picked center Dave Labrecque 153rd overall.

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For a second straight season, Grant experienced the AHL postseason, as he helped the Preds’ affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, finish first in the West Division with 107 points. On top of his three goals and eight assists, Grant recorded 153 PIMs thanks to his 10 fighting majors.

In the 2009 playoffs, the Admirals swept the Rockford IceHogs before they lost in seven games to the Houston Aeros in the Division Finals. Grant posted his first and only AHL playoff goal of his career, which turned out to be the game-winning goal for the Admirals in their Game 3 victory over the IceHogs. He also had an assist, 12 PIMs, and a minus-2 rating.

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The 2009-2010 regular season is the last time Grant saw NHL action, as he took part in three games for the Preds. His last game in the NHL to date was a Preds’ 6-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on October 12, 2009, where Zack Stortini potted a pair of goals on top of a scrap with Grant.

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As for his season with the Admirals, Grant registered 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points, his highest total for any team in a single season since he signed his entry-level contract with the Flyers. Thanks to 23 fighting majors, Grant led the Admirals with 236 PIMs and finished ninth in the league for the category.

Unfortunately for Grant and his teammates, Milwaukee’s 2010 postseason was short-lived as they fell to the Chicago Wolves in seven games during the Division Semifinals. Grant had a pair of assists and 16 PIMs, as he dropped the gloves with Greg Stewart in Chicago’s 3-0 win in Game 2.

In the summer of 2010, Grant signed with the Florida Panthers’ organization. With his two-way contract, Grant earned $105,000 in the AHL and $510,000 in the NHL.

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Although Grant took part in one preseason game with the Panthers he spent the entire regular season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. In 56 games Grant posted seven goals, six assists, and 144 PIMs with a minus-11 rating. As part of his 144 PIMs, Grant took part in 10 fights, as he dropped the gloves with Matt Clackson and Colin Greening.

Grant joined the Edmonton Oilers’ organization in the summer of 2011 and spent the entire 2011-2012 season with the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL. In addition to his team-high 163 PIMs, Grant also posted 11 goals and four assists. His role as the team’s tough guy helped the Barons reach the playoffs.

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After beating the Houston Aeros 3-1 in the clubs’ best-of-five series in the first round and the San Antonio Rampage 4-1 in the clubs’ best-of-seven series in the second round, the Barons lost in five games to the Toronto Marlies. Grant appeared in only seven of Oklahoma City’s 14 games in the 2012 playoffs and recorded 29 PIMs despite failing to record a single fighting major.

On July 9, Grant joined the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, with a one-year contract.