In lieu of all the Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty drama and the smarmy Gary Bettman responses provoked by letters from Air Canada representatives or Geoff Molson, here's an actual bit of news that Senators fans can take pride in -- Derek Grant, a fourth round pick from 2008, has signed a 3-year entry level contract with the Senators. (Note: Try to avoid looking at the Michigan State jerseys. It might make you long for a 2-D spartan logo that isn't ugly or embarrassing to look at.)
Unlike overage junior Wacey Hamilton who inked a deal of his own earlier in the week and will have to wait for his season with the Medicine Hat Tigers to end, Grant will report immediately to Binghamton now that his sophomore season at Michigan State ended -- his Spartans were defeated in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s playoffs by Alaska-Fairbanks.
According to the Senators official press release, Grant played in each of the team’s 38 games this season, leading the Spartans in scoring with 33 points on eight goals and 25 assists. In two years at Michigan State, he scored 20 goals, 43 assists and recorded 54 penalty minutes in 76 games.
Before attending Michigan State, the 6-3, 196-pound Grant played two seasons for the Langley Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League. In his second season with Langley, he recorded 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in only 35 games. He was named the Chiefs’ rookie of the year in 2007-08 after scoring 63 points (24 goals, 39 assists) in 57 games.
In light of how many forwards on Ottawa's current roster have spent the bulk of the 2010-11 campaign in Binghamton and management's concession that they will forego the pursuit of free agents during the summer, Grant's signing will give a depleted Binghamton squad some depth as they contend for an AHL playoff spot. Hopefully this experience and atmosphere will help his development and help get him acclimatized to the demands of playing professional hockey.
Welcome to the pros Derek.
Below are some comments made by Assistant GM Tim Murray talking about Grant:
Always feels good to see another later round pick of Murray's get signed, even if he never amounts to anything more than an AHL player. Remember when the majority of our later round picks never even came to North America? Got to love Muckler and his excellent research skills!
I hate to be the dickhead who nitpicks, but the Sens logo is a Roman centurion, not a Spartan :)