The season is over, and we’re going to rate every player who played more than 20 games this season on their performance the same way we were all graded back in the day - on a report card scale of A to F. We’re taking a look at everyone from Bailey to Rodrigues in our 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards.
Contract: UFA ($650,000)
Introduction: Spare a thought for poor Derek Grant. Eighty-six(!!) games into his grinding NHL career and still not a single goal to show for it. He was brought into the Sabres to be a fourth line center, a role which he performed relatively well except that he simply could not beg, borrow or even steal a goal.
He showed plenty of grit on the bottom line and but with the Sabres season going down the tubes towards early winter, he was waived and picked up by the Nashville Predators.
After just six games in the South, he was released and picked up again by Buffalo where he went on to play another five games interspersed with appearances with the Rochester Americans where he proved to be a much more effective player.
Key Stat: Grant is actually a point per game player.. in the AHL. Buffalo picked up him after he recorded 45 points in 36 games at the Stockton Heat in 2015-16, and he went on to get a further 19 points in 23 games with the Amerks last season.
That success however has not translated into points for Grant at the NHL level, and he has no goals and seven assists in 86 NHL games.
Thumbs Up: Of the regular centers on the Sabres roster, Grant has the second best faceoff win percentage at 52.1% from 332 faceoffs, with ex-coach Dan Bylsma leaning on him heavily during defensive zone stoppages in play and the penalty kill situation.
Thumbs Down: Despite his physical style and stature, Grant offers no offensive upside whatsoever. A veteran presence is required for the bottom line and penalty killing, but such players are dime a dozen in the League.
He does seem to be able to turn it on at the AHL level though, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Sabres sign him to a two-way contract to send to Rochester.
Memorable Moment: He came oh so close to finally breaking his goal-scoring duck this season, looking like he had potted one past Ryan Miller when he was with the Preds.
Unfortunately for Grant though, it was followed soon after by this.
Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with a grade of A representing a great season, a grade of C being the performance you expected, and F a very poor season, rate Derek Grant on his performance this year.
Grade Derek Grant on his 2016-17 season.
This poll is closed