Philadelphia Flyers: Derek Grant has been a solid addition

Derek Grant, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Derek Grant, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

It has only been seven games, but Derek Grant has shown the Flyers how versatile he can be.

Originally a part of the Anaheim Ducks this season, Derek Grant was traded to the Flyers on February 24th. Since then, he has appeared in seven games for the team. And despite the small sample size, it’s easy to see that he has been a solid addition to the team’s depth.

Grant was already in the midst of a career season before he was traded. His 14 goals were the most he had scored since the 2017-18 season. And Grant was well on his way to breaking his career-high of 24 points. He did so with the five points he has collected with the Flyers.

The 15 goals he has scored this season make up almost half of his career total of 31 goals. Grant jumped right into the Flyers roster, playing his first game just a day after he was traded. A versatile forward who can play anywhere in the lineup, Grant has lined up as the team’s third-line center. Playing with Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick, the three have been able to develop quick chemistry with one another.

His versatility also comes in the form of special teams play. He is on both the power play and penalty kill units. Like Kevin Hayes, Grant has made his mark on the penalty kill with three shorthanded goals. He grabbed a shorthanded assist in his third game with the team, setting up Michael Raffl.

The scoring numbers are solid in the small sample size that we have for Grant. He averages the best Total Assists per 60 minutes at 2.4 and has the second-highest Total Points/60 with exactly 3.0. Break that down to per-game averages, he has 0.57 assists per game and 0.71 points per game.

That comes averaging 14:16 minutes per game. On the power play, Grant has averaged 1:22 and 1:07 on the penalty kill. Other advanced numbers aren’t in his favor, however. His 39.2 CF% leads to believe he is getting killed at even strength. The -9.3 rel CF% would also agree with that. Grant has played just over 82 minutes at even strength, just below 100 minutes overall, with the Flyers so it is a very small sample size. It is similar to what he had put up with Anaheim, though.

The biggest factor to look at in his numbers is that most of his starts with the Ducks came in the defensive zone. Exactly 70% of the time, Grant was beginning his shift in the defensive zone. The numbers are much more even with the Flyers as 47.1% of his shifts have been defensive ones. 52.9% of his shifts have begun in the offensive zone.

It will likely take more than seven games for Grant to adjust to the new responsibilities. Another thing to remember is that he was doing all of this while making just $700K, the most he has ever made in the NHL. Up until now, he hadn’t done much to prove he deserved a higher contract.

The only multi-year contract Grant has ever signed was his entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators back in 2011. Since then, he has been on a one year deal every season.  There likely comes a point where Grant will want some kind of stability in the league.

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But with possibly only a seven-game sample size, it might be hard for the Flyers to truly judge what he can do over a full season. It might take another one year deal to determine his worth. If the league is to resume and Grant continues to play the way he has, he could make the choice easy for the Flyers.