IN THE NEWS
TOUGHNESS A BIG PART OF GRANT'S GAME
By Chris Wescott,
Triston Grant was signed by Oklahoma City to a try out agreement in October, just after the start of training camp. The left wing comes to OKC following a career in which he has spent the majority of time in the American Hockey League.
Grant has played for the Philadelphia Phantoms, Milwaukee Admirals and Rocherster Americans in his seven-year career. He has collected a lot of memories over those seasons, but the one that comes to mind first is being a part of history.
“I guess the first thing that comes to mind is I was in a playoff game my last year in Philadelphia,” Grant said. “We ended up playing the longest game in AHL history. I think it was just about five minutes short of nine periods… I guess it’s not the (most fun) because it was such a battle that night but I guess that’s one of the thoughts that comes to mind. It was such a special game to be a part of.
“I’ve met a lot of good people and a lot of good friends down the road. It’s been a blast up until now.”
In the early part of this season, Grant has provided grit and toughness for the Barons. He is quick to defend his teammates, doesn’t shy away from finishing his checks or squaring off in scrums. It is a part of his game that Grant has embraced.
“When you play in their face and play hard guys want to come after you. That’s the way I’ve grown up playing the game. One of my gifts is to have a big heart and stick up for teammates. I’ve got to take advantage of those gifts that I have and I’ve been making a living off of that.”
When Grant got the call this offseason to join the Barons, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I was kind of sitting around and I just didn’t have anything going yet and I felt that it was going to be the best opportunity and best fit for me and so far it’s been pretty good. So I just got to keep on going, keep on winning and doing my best and I think it should work out for everybody.”
Aside from playing with toughness, Grant believes his role is to provide energy and play with consistency.
“With my role, I’m playing on the fourth line and I just need to make sure I provide energy every night, be consistent and don’t be a liability on the ice for the team. I just want to play simple and be an all around good teammate.”
The 6-2, 212 pound forward has more experience than the majority of Oklahoma City’s roster. It makes Grant a prime candidate to take on a leadership role on the ice.
“You always want to lead by example. I’m not a huge talker in the dressing room like that. I like to lead on the ice whether it’s sacrificing the body, sticking up for teammates, blocking shots or whatever it is. I just want to lead by example and go from there.”
In 12 games with the Barons, Grant has scored three goals and has added an assist. Getting on the scoreboard early in the season has given Grant confidence moving forward in his first season with the franchise.
“Your confidence when you score early in the season is kind of like a breath of fresh air so that was good to comeback after we lost in (the season opener) and stuff like that. So that was good. I’m not going to set any goal scoring records but it’s always good to put one in here and there.”
Oklahoma City plays in Grand Rapids on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. They return home on December 2, to face San Antonio at 7 p.m. Tickets start at just $10. Call 405-232-GOAL for information.
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