GLENDALE – Coyotes defenseman Alex Grant is eager to experience playing in an NHL game again for the first time in more than two years.
“It feels like it’s my first time getting called up again,” Grant said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m very excited for the opportunity and I look forward to getting out there.”
The Coyotes recalled Grant from the American Hockey League on Monday after defenseman Michael Stone suffered a season-ending lower-body injury on Saturday vs. Philadelphia. Grant arrived in time for Monday’s game vs. Calgary but he did not play. He could make his debut with Arizona as soon as Thursday at Dallas.
Grant last played in the NHL for Anaheim in 2013. He scored a goal in his NHL debut on his first NHL shot vs. San Jose on Nov. 30, then scored another goal in his second game vs. Minnesota 11 nights later on his second shot. However, the Ducks reassigned him to the AHL after that second game and he hasn’t been back in the League since.
“It’s felt like a while in between,” Grant said. “You’re always hoping for the call… You just kind of hope every year. I’m very excited now that it’s actually happened.”
Grant, 27, notched 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games playing for Springfield in the AHL before being recalled on Monday, and he was leading that team, by far, with 171 shots on goal.
Arizona signed Grant, who was drafted 118th overall by Pittsburgh in 2007, as a free agent last summer. With the Coyotes, his plan will be to keep things simple, make a good first pass and join the rush if the chance is there. The biggest thing, he said, is to show the coaches he can play a 200-foot game.
With two goals scored on two shots, Grant was asked if he’s eager to take a third shot in the League and put his perfect shooting percentage on the line.
“I look forward to that to see what happens,” he said with a smile. “I was pretty fortunate. It was a great start but we’ll see what happens. I’m just happy to get my third game. If I get it (a third goal on a third shot), that’s obviously very exciting but I’m not expecting it.”