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2019-20 Player Review: Derek Grant did indeed play hockey

At least you made one memorable play.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

By no stretch of the imagination do I ever think of Derek Grant when I look back on the 2019-20 Flyers’ season. Besides this play, I will likely never remember that Grant ever even played for the Flyers, nor that Chuck Fletcher sent a fourth round pick and Kyle Criscuolo for his services. We always remember the obviously bad players from any roster, and the good and great ones, but never the simply mediocre. For me, this is why I think Derek Grant is simply so unmemorable for me, and likely for many. At his best, Grant was passable, and at his worst, he was mediocre but not so unbelievably horrible that it was obvious. Well, at least until you get into the advanced stats.

By The Numbers

Basic Stats

Derek Grant 2019-20

Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM Shots on Goal Shooting Percentage
Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM Shots on Goal Shooting Percentage
7 1 4 5 2 13 7.70%

At a glance, Grant’s numbers aren’t bad considering his limited ice time and games played. However, looking at those seven games, his point production was quite streaky, with two games in a row where he recorded two points. Though obviously any type of production, regardless, is good, Grant certainly had his “on” and “off” nights, and in particular on his off nights, the offense just wasn’t there. Defensively, he could get by, but as you’ll see in terms of possession metrics, it is not good.

5v5 On-Ice Stats

Derek Grant 2019-20 On Ice 5v5

Corsi-For% Corsi-For% Rel Expected Goals-For% Expected Goals-For% Rel Goals For% PDO
Corsi-For% Corsi-For% Rel Expected Goals-For% Expected Goals-For% Rel Goals For% PDO
37.42 -12.81 40.39 -14.22 60 1.054

5v5 Individual Stats

Derek Grant 2019-20 Indiv 5v5

Goals/60 Points/60 Shot Attempts/60 Expected Goals/60
Goals/60 Points/60 Shot Attempts/60 Expected Goals/60
0.75 3.02 9.05 1.18

We can disregard, to some degree, Grant’s individual numbers per 60 given the small sample size, since it is unlikely he would have kept up this level of output over a longer stretch of time. His streakiness even given the sample size highlights this further. Perhaps he would have continued to perform to this level, but I am doubtful.

His on ice statistics are, well, outright bad. He is just about as opposite from a play-driver as you can get, and that’s understandable given what we know about Grant. He really doesn’t carry the puck that often, and players with a chippy style like that aren’t usually reflected upon positively by these measures. Yet, even so, that is horrendously bad.

Three Burning Questions

Did this player live up to our expectations this season?

As a deadline day pick up, with the Flyers needing some depth going into the postseason, I didn’t really have any expectations for Grant other than to not be abysmal. In some regards, he lived up to that expectation, and I wasn’t exactly expecting a world-beater here. However, the fact he was a black hole for possession really makes it hard for me to say he lived up to expectations.

What do we expect from this player next season?

We won’t! Derek Grant ended up going back to the Anaheim Ducks, signing a three year contract worth a total of $4.5 million dollars. He’ll be a bottom six player on a rebuilding Ducks team where he played fairly well before coming to Philadelphia. He’s a 20-35 point player who can be useful when he isn’t actively hurting offensive possession.

What would we like to see this player improve on?

Objectively, Derek Grant needs to work on positively driving play, and if he can improve upon that and increase his point production, you have a far more complete bottom six forward. However, at the wrong side of 30, I’m not so sure how much improving Grant has left in him.