The New York Rangers announced the signing of forward Tommy Grant to a contract today. Grant, usually playing left wing, scored 16 goals and had 32 points in 37 games as a 24 year old playing for the University of Alaska-Anchorage. That’s the same school that Rangers prospects Chad Johnson and Lee Baldwin played at, so clearly the Rangers have one scout pretty obsessed with that school. Grant was already on an amateur tryout with the Connecticut Whale and contributed two assists in one game. Obviously, I know basically nothing about him other than what the stats show, and there is little information out there. I did find a University of Alaska-Anchorage fan blog recapping his play for the team, and although it probably is a bit biased in their report, it still contains a solid scouting report. Here is part of it:
He’s got nothing short of excellent speed. He is superb at protecting the puck and we’ve seen him blow around the outside of multiple WCHA defenseman on his way to the net over the years. He’s got a wicked wrist shot and is adept blasting first timers from the point. He’s not shy about working offensively in the corners or in high traffic areas in front of the net.
With his combination of size and speed Tommy will be a nice free agent pickup for someone when this season ends. I’d expect it won’t be too long after the season completes that we’ll see him signing. And I would expect him to contribute in short order for whoever signs him.
Looks to me like he sounds like a player who plays the way the Rangers want the team to play. Good speed, traffic in front of the net, hard worker, etc. So at least stylistically he’s a fit. Still, has a 24 year old you have to wonder how much room for development there is. He’s likely a minor league depth signing, but then again, so was Dan Girardi. He’s a project, but would it be a Rangers season if Sather didn’t add at least one minor league project?